A 2014 view of the Kirchberg skyline, where a number of financial institutions are based
Photo: Benjamin Champenois
The planned EU tax haven blacklist must include at least 35 countries, including Luxembourg, Oxfam said in a report, suggesting the list will not be rigorous enough.
The “Blacklist or Whitewash?” report by the anti-injustice NGO was published on 27 November as the EU analyses 92 countries and other jurisdictions to compile a tax haven blacklist.
It will be based on three criteria, including tax transparency and policies that stimulate large-scale profit shifting. Oxfam is concerned the EU’s list will be weak because it is being drafted in secret and is therefore not open to public scrutiny.
“The blacklisting process has been surrounded by secrecy, putting citizens in the dark and leaving tax havens free to use their political and economic leverage to get themselves off the EU blacklist. There is a real risk the EU ends up with an empty blacklist,”Oxfam's EU policy advisor on inequality and tax and report author Aurore Chardonnet said in an official statement.
Luxembourg has been heavily criticised for its tax dealings in the past, which have enabled companies to pay less corporate tax in Luxembourg than they might in other countries. The scale of the fiscal optimisation operations hit headlines in recent years with the disclosure of Lux Leaks, the Panama Papers and, most recently, the Paradise Papers.