Macau Government rejects its inclusion on the European Union tax haven list

6 December 2017

The European Union’s decision to include Macau in its “black list” of 17 tax havens is “unilateral and partial,” and does not reflect Macau’s real situation, which “is not at all a place for tax avoidance or evasion or a tax haven,” the government of Macau said in an official statement released on Tuesday.

“Macau, in fact, has actively cooperated with the international community, including the European Union and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), in order to fight together cross-border tax avoidance and evasion and to promote fiscal justice,” the statement said.

The finance ministers of the European Union, meeting on Tuesday in Brussels, adopted a “black list” of 17 tax havens, because they are considered as non-cooperating jurisdictions, including Macau.

The “black list” includes American Samoa, Bahrain, Barbados, Grenada, Guam, South Korea, Macau, Marshall Islands, Mongolia, Namibia, Palau, Panama, Saint Lucia, Samoa, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia and the United Arab Emirates.

In addition to this list of 17 jurisdictions considered to be non-cooperators, the European Union has drawn up a “grey” list of 47 jurisdictions that have undertaken to fulfil the criteria required and that will be reassessed, including Cabo Verde (Cape Verde).

The Macau Government recalled that the Special Administrative Region (MSAR) is also a member of the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes and the Inclusive Framework of Base Erosion and Profit Shifting, both part of the OECD and, through a review, correspondence of fiscal transparency and exchange of information to the most recent international criteria was recognised.

“The MSAR also took part in international cooperation projects of the OECD, promoting, in conjunction with the tax authorities around the world, tax reform and the fight against activities within the scope of tax avoidance and evasion, with a view to achieving the objective of tax justice,” according to the statement.

The statement noted that in May 2001 the Government of Macau concluded the process of drafting the new law on exchange of information on tax matters, and in 2018 the first automatic exchange of information on financial accounts is expected to occur. (macauhub)