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EU removes Switzerland from tax haven list

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In December 2017, the European Union (EU) set up a blacklist and a grey list of tax havens, countries it deemed were being used to help companies and wealthy individuals reduce their tax bills. Switzerland ended up on the grey list.

Nations on these lists faced reputational damage and stricter controls on financial transactions with the EU.

On 10 October 2019, the European Commission reviewed the lists and removed Switzerland from the grey list after deciding the country had delivered its commitments to make its tax rules compliant with EU standards.

In a referendum on 19 May 2019, Swiss voters decided to abolish the tax privileges it offers to certain foreign companies, a system designed to attract businesses to the country. To reduce the risk of companies leaving, cantons will replace this system with lower standard company tax rates, a move that will lower Switzerland’s corporate tax revenue.

The EU also removed the Indian Ocean island of Mauritius, Albania, Costa Rica and Serbia from its grey list, leaving 32 grey-listed jurisdictions. Nations still on this list include Australia, Thailand, Turkey and Morocco.

Nine places remain blacklisted: Belize, Fiji, Oman, Samoa, Trinidad and Tobago, Vanuatu and the three US territories of American Samoa, US Virgin Islands and Guam.

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Investec is a distinctive Specialist Bank and Asset Manager. We provide a diverse range of financial products and services to a niche client base in three principal markets, the United Kingdom, South Africa and Australia, as well as certain other geographies. Investec’s strategic goals are motivated by the desire to develop an efficient and integrated business on an international scale through the active pursuit of clearly established core competencies in the group’s principal business areas.
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