St.Kitts-Nevis has reacted with much surprise at their inclusion on an EU “Tax Blacklist” of 30 nations and has written to the EU to formally voice concern about what is being described as an arbitrary manner in which the blacklist has been drawn up and to ask for the country’s removal from the aforementioned list which clearly does not reflect the nation’s adherence to international standards on tax transparency. .
The list, published on Thursday by the EU, consolidates “national tax blacklists” and includes “non-cooperative non-EU jurisdictions” that appear on 10 or more lists compiled by member states.
In a statement issued on Thursday the Financial Secretary of St.Kitts-Nevis Mrs Hilary Hazel outlined that In a recent Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Global Forum peer review on the effectiveness in exchange of information, the Federation received an overall rating of Largely Compliant which puts among the best performers internationally in the area of compliance with international standards on Transparency and Exchange Of Information in tax matters.
Mrs. Hilary Hazel who is the Federation’s Competent Authority on tax matters indicated that St. Kitts and Nevis has been cooperative with treaty partners in responding to requests for information in a timely manner.
The statement outlined a number of reasons for the country’s surprise at being included on the black list . The reasons along with those outlined earlier includes:
• The Federation has an extensive tax information exchange treaty network with 25 countries, many of which are EU major economies.
• The Federation has been actively involved with the work of the OECD on tax transparency since 2001 and continues to be an active player on the subgroup of the OECD on Automatic Exchange of Information and standard setting. Our country also greatly contributed to the work of the OECD Global Forum Peer Review Group. We are proud of our contribution to the global community in this regard.
Some 8 Caricom countries were included on the list and some including the Cayman Islands have expressed similar reactions to the inclusion on the list.
The federation was included on similar blacklists in 2010, 2004 and 2000.