ALSO READEU to discuss blacklist of tax havens after Paradise Papers leaks EU to discuss blacklist of tax havens after 'Paradise Papers' leaks EU to discuss tax havens blacklist after "Paradise Papers" leaks EU's Moscovici urges fast action against tax 'vampires' after Paradise Papers EU tries to fast-track rules for tax advisers after Paradise Papers
By Francesco Guarascio
After multiple disclosures of offshore tax avoidance schemes by companies and wealthy individuals, the EU launched a process in February to list tax havens in a bid to discourage setting up shell structures abroad which are themselves in many cases legal but could hide illicit activities.
"There will be, I hope, a blacklist that will include about 20 countries that despite ten months of talks have not made the necessary commitments," EU tax commissioner Pierre Moscovici told reporters as he arrived at the meeting in Brussels.
A second "grey" list of jurisdictions who have committed to change their tax rules to abide by EU standards on transparency and cooperation will also be adopted, although it is unclear whether it will be public.
Moscovici said the "grey" list will include about 40 countries. No names of jurisdictions included on the blacklist or grey list have so far been disclosed.
"The list cannot just comprise third countries, but must also contain certain EU jurisdictions," the German conservative vice-chair of the European Parliament's economic affairs committee, Markus Ferber, said in a statement on Tuesday.
Ministers will assess "whether all provisions are in line with WTO (World Trade Organisation) rules," the commission's vice-president Valdis Dombrovskis told reporters.
The topic was added to the meeting's agenda after the U.S. Senate approved the tax reform on Saturday.
Officials are concerned about possible double taxation of EU companies in the United States as a result of the reform.
EU ministers will also adopt a common position on taxation of tech corporations like Amazon or Facebook. They have been accused of paying too little tax in the EU by rerouting the booking of their profits to low-tax nations where they have set up headquarters, like Luxembourg or Ireland.
The draft text of the conclusions has been watered down under pressure from reluctant countries. The commission is expected to present proposals in the coming months.
(Reporting by Francesco Guarascio; additional reporting by Julia Fioretti; Editing by Janet Lawrence)