News | Malaysia named in EU’s grey list for tax evasion

PETALING JAYA: The European Union (EU) has added Malaysia to its Annex II grey list of non-cooperative nations for tax evasion for the first time.

The subject of taxes was discussed in the European Parliament following reports of a large leak of data known as the Pandora Papers which revealed how the rich and powerful took advantage of offshore companies to evade tax obligations.

The EU list addresses legal means of tax avoidance, tax fraud, money laundering, and hiding sources of illegally obtained wealth.

According to the EU, Australia, Swaziland, and the Maldives were removed from the grey list after resolving their tax regimes.

Costa Rica, Hong Kong, Qatar and Uruguay were also placed on the grey list on Oct 5, while tax havens Anguilla, Dominica, and the Seychelles were moved from the blacklist to the grey list.

However, American Samoa, Fiji, Guam, Palau, Panama, Samoa, Trinidad and Tobago, the US Virgin Islands and Vanuatu were added to the blacklist on Oct 5.

“The grey list refers to Annex II, which refers to countries that have yet to comply with international tax standards but have made the commitment to reform tax policies,” advisory firm Ernst & Young told Malaysiakini.

Yesterday, Reuters reported that EU tax commissioner Paolo Gentiloni informed the European Parliament that the EU executive would propose new rules “on the publication of effective tax rates paid by some multinationals”.

In response to lawmakers criticising the EU for shortening to just nine jurisdictions the bloc’s blacklist of tax havens days after the Pandora Papers were released, Gentiloni said the list achieved results, but added that there may be a need to review the criteria for listing.

Yesterday, in the Dewan Rakyat, Speaker Azhar Harun rejected Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim’s (PH-Port Dickson) motion to debate the Pandora Papers as the matter was not sufficiently urgent.

Anwar had earlier submitted a motion on Oct 5. – FMT

credit photo: Unsplash

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