Tax haven: status quo for Morocco?

EU Ministers to Update Gray and Black List of Tax-Unoperative Countries

All eyes were on Brussels on Tuesday. And for good reason. The European Union (EU) was to decide on the list of non-cooperative countries in tax matters. The meeting between Europeans seems to have taken place in a tense atmosphere as the union members did not reach a consensus.

In the case of Morocco, it is radio silence. At the end of the meeting, it was announced that the European Union had decided to remove Barbados from the blacklist and annex Dominica, joining eleven other countries: Anguilla, American Samoa, Fiji, Guam, Palau, Panama, Samoa , Seychelles, Trinidad and Tobago, US Virgin Islands and Vanuatu. Regarding the gray list which includes Morocco, no statement was made when we went to press (4pm local).

It has to be said that European countries had devoted a large part of the discussion to the case of Turkey, which had avoided going to Europe’s black list. Members of the European Union were divided on the matter. Sources in Brussels have even announced that discussions about the gray list have been postponed. After several reforms in particular on the tax plan, the mystery about the Kingdom is theoretically certain to leave the EU gray list as of this month of February.

Since 2018, Morocco has introduced new measures on the fiscal framework in the country every year in the draft finance laws. Changes related to the exchange of banking data, particularly with free zones, CFCs. The EU’s official response to the permanent removal of the Kingdom from Gray’s list is eagerly awaited. Finally, it should be noted that the blacklist instrument, considered by multinationals and large fortunes to fight against tax evasion, was created in December 2017 after several scandals, including “Panama Papers” and “LuxLeaks”. Sanctions against “black-listed” countries may include free money from the European Union.

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About the Author: Hanley Mallin

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