EU removes UAE from tax haven blacklist
Luxembourg - The Marshall Islands has also been removed from that list.
European Union finance ministers agreed to remove the UAE, Switzerland and Mauritius from the bloc's lists of countries deemed to be acting as tax havens.
As part of the regular review of the lists, the ministers decided to drop the UAE from the EU blacklist that covers jurisdictions that have failed to cooperate with the EU on tax matters.
The UAE, the largest financial centre that was blacklisted, was removed because in September it adopted new rules on offshore structures, the EU said, giving it a clean-sheet on its tax practices. The Gulf state charges no corporate taxes, making it a possible target for firms seeking to avoid paying tax in the countries where they actually operate.
The EU does not automatically add countries that charge no tax - a sign of being a tax haven - to its blacklist, but it requested the UAE introduce rules that would allow only companies with a real economic activity there to be incorporated in order to reduce risks of tax dodging.
The Marshall Islands has also been removed from that list, which still includes nine extra-EU jurisdictions - mostly Pacific islands with few financial relations with the EU.
Major economic partner Switzerland was removed from the EU grey list covering countries that have committed to change their tax rules to make them compliant with EU standards. It has delivered on its commitments and therefore is no longer listed.
Jurisdictions that remain blacklisted are Belize, Fiji, Oman, Samoa, Trinidad and Tobago, Vanuatu and the three US territories of American Samoa, Guam and the US Virgin Islands.