The European Union expanded its tax haven blacklist by 10 countries on Tuesday, adding the United Arab Emirates and Bermuda despite the objections of powerful member states such as Italy.

The list, now 15 countries long, was first drawn up in 2017 in the wake of several scandals, including Panama Papers and LuxLeaks, that pushed the EU into doing more to fight tax evasion by multinationals and the rich.

Ten jurisdictions were added to the list. It had previously included five.

Aruba, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, Fiji, Marshall Islands, Oman, the United Arab Emirates, Vanuatu, and Dominica are added to the list.

The additions are the largest review of the list since the EU adopted it in December 2017. It was drawn up after revelations of widespread tax-avoidance schemes used by corporations and wealthy individuals to lower their tax bills. 

Jurisdictions are added to the list if their tax rules enable tax evasion in other states. They are removed if they commit to reforms. 

Blacklisted jurisdictions face stricter controls on transactions with the EU, although no sanctions have yet been agreed by EU states.

Last week EU states blocked the adoption of another blacklist of countries that show deficiencies in countering money laundering and terrorism financing after pressure from Saudi Arabia, the United States, and Panama.

Tags: ; ; ;