February 18th, 2020
The European Council announced today that the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis has “managed to implement all the necessary reforms to comply with EU tax good governance principles ahead of the agreed deadline and [is] therefore removed from Annex II.”
The Council’s February 18th, 2020 press release explained that, “Jurisdictions that do not yet comply with all international tax standards but committed to reform are considered cooperative and included in a state of play document (Annex II). The Council’s code of conduct group on business taxation monitors that jurisdictions enact the necessary reforms by the agreed deadlines. Once a jurisdiction meets all its commitments, it is removed from Annex II.”
On May 25th, 2018, the European Council announced that it had “removed the Bahamas and Saint Kitts and Nevis from the EU’s list of non-cooperative tax jurisdictions,” moving them from Annex I to Annex II, which cites jurisdictions that have “undertaken sufficient commitments to reform their tax policies.” The May 25th, 2018 press release further stated that the EU’s list, which was established in December 2017, “is contributing to on-going efforts to prevent tax fraud and promote good governance worldwide.”
St. Kitts and Nevis made commitments at a high political level to remedy the European Union’s concerns, and experts from the EU assessed those commitments, with the Council’s code of conduct group carefully monitoring their implementation. The implementation of the tax reforms will continue to be monitored closely.
Today, February 18th, 2020, the European Council also announced that, “In addition to the 8 jurisdictions that were already listed, the EU also decided to include the following jurisdictions in its list of non-cooperative tax jurisdictions: Cayman Islands, Palau, Panama and Seychelles.”
The Council said that, “These jurisdictions did not implement the tax reforms to which they had committed by the agreed deadline.”
The following eight jurisdictions were already on the EU’s list of non-cooperative tax jurisdictions: American Samoa, Fiji, Guam, Samoa, Oman, Trinidad and Tobago, Vanuatu and the US Virgin Islands.
The following 15 jurisdictions were removed from Annex II today, in addition to St. Kitts and Nevis: Antigua and Barbuda, Armenia, the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, the British Virgin Islands, Cabo Verde, the Cook Islands, Curaçao, the Marshall Islands, Montenegro, Nauru, Niue and Vietnam.