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Guidelines for checks on use of EU funds in tax havens

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The European Commission has published guidelines for international financial institutions and development financial institutions on checks they should carry out to ensure that EU funds are not channelled or transited through entities in blacklisted tax jurisdictions.

The guidelines (see provide information on how the EU’s partners should assess projects that involve entities in countries on the EU list of non-cooperative jurisdictions. This assessment includes a series of checks that should pinpoint a risk of tax avoidance with a business entity. For example, before channelling funding through an entity, it should be established that there are sound business reasons for how a project is structured that do not take advantage of the technicalities of a tax system or of mismatches between two or more tax systems for the purpose of reducing a tax bill.

EU taxation commissioner, Pierre Moscovici, said the Commission ‘will not allow EU funds to contribute to global tax avoidance’. He called the EU’s blacklist of tax havens ‘a living document’ which helps show the EU is ‘serious about tackling tax avoidance on a global scale’.

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