Belize is among six territories which the European Code of Conduct Group (CCG) has written to, asking each one to update our preferential tax measures or face the possibility of being blacklisted.

The request gives Belize and the other five territories, Curaçao, Mauritius, Saint Lucia, Barbados, and the Seychelles several months to commit to replacing our respective ‘harmful’ tax practices and seek alternative measures. If we do not, the CCG warned that we can end up in the revised ‘tax havens’ blacklist, which will be revealed near the end of this year. All six jurisdictions were already on the grey list before.

The CCG has asked the six jurisdictions to pledge a high-level commitment to amend these tax measures before the end of this year, citing them as “harmful”. At the same time, the EU also asked that we avoid the introduction of “grandfathering mechanisms” (applying old rules to existing situations when new rules exist) that could reduce the impact on non-resident businesses.

Any of these countries fail to meet the requirement will be included in the EU’s list of non-cooperative jurisdictions for tax purposes.

Some jurisdictions have already started an intensive review of their tax measures, but had included the same grandfathering provisions, which did not impress the CCG.

The original 2017 blacklist named countries that the CCG thought was not doing enough in the areas of tax transparency, fair taxation and Base erosion and profit shifting (Beps) erosion, this year’s blacklist one will include preferential tax measures.

The Reporter