Samoa remains on EU’s blacklist


Samoa remains on the European Union blacklist, as one of the non-cooperative jurisdictions. 

This is outlined in an annexe list published by the EU, six months ago. 

As of October last year, the blacklist adopted by the  Ecofin Council included Samoa, and there is a new list that is set to be adopted later this month with Samoa remaining on the list. 

According to the EU, the October 2022 update takes the number of jurisdictions on the EU list to 12: American Samoa, Anguilla, Bahamas, Fiji, Guam, Palau, Panama, Samoa, Trinidad & Tobago, Turks & Caicos, US Virgin Islands, and Vanuatu.

However, the new list will increase to 16 Countries with four to be added. 

Under the EU listing process, jurisdictions are assessed against three main criteria – tax transparency, fair taxation and the implementation of the Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) minimum standards. Jurisdictions with identified deficiencies under the criteria of the EU list are asked to commit at the high political level to addressing the deficiencies within a set deadline.

Those jurisdictions that refuse to cooperate are directly added to the EU list. 

The Commission is also working with Member States to strengthen the EU list’s criteria to ensure more tax transparency in particular in the area of beneficial ownership information, a more refined approach to economic substance requirements, and to promote the global implementation of the minimum level of taxation 

Furthermore, the EU says that the list is not to name and shame countries but to encourage positive change in their tax legislation and practices through cooperation.

First proposed by the Commission in January 2016, the EU list of non-cooperative third countries has proven a true success in promoting fair taxation worldwide. Since the first list was adopted by Member States in the Council in December 2017, many countries have taken concrete measures to comply with tax-good governance standards. With each update of the list, they see that this clear, transparent and fair process is delivering real change.

To be considered cooperative for tax purposes, jurisdictions are screened on a number of criteria, including tax transparency, also jurisdictions should be able to exchange tax information on request (EOIR) and should be party to the OECD Multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters, or have a network of exchange arrangements in place that covers all EU member states.