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| 07 December, 2017

UAE "surprised and disappointed" to be included in EU's list of tax havens

European Union flags are lowered at half-mast in honor of the victims of the Barcelona attack, outside the European Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium August 18, 2017.

European Union flags are lowered at half-mast in honor of the victims of the Barcelona attack, outside the European Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium August 18, 2017.

REUTERS/Francois Lenoir

Government says it is committed to a tax reform process

The United Arab Emirates has said it is “surprised and disappointed” by the European Union’s recent decision to include the country in a list of non-compliant tax jurisdictions, it said in a statement on Thursday.

On Tuesday, EU finance ministers adopted a new list of 17 tax-haven jurisdictions, which included the UAE, Reuters reported.  EU ambassador Patrizio Fondi has told Reuters in an email that “the UAE does not apply the BEPS (base erosion and profit sharing) minimum standards” and has not committed to addressing these issues by a set deadline of December 31, 2018.

“The UAE has worked to meet the European Union’s requirements in terms of exchanging tax-related information,” the UAE’s Undersecretary of the Ministry of Finance, Younis Haji Al-Khouri, said in the statement that was sent to Zawya by email.

“We have committed to a reform process which will be finalised by October 2018, and we are absolutely confident this will ensure the UAE is swiftly removed from the list,” he added.

The UAE’s statement said that the issue hindering the implementation of the BEPS minimum standard is that more time is needed to ratify it across all seven emirates.

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“We will continue to work with our international partners on this issue, and are confident that we will be recognised as an internationally-compliant partner at the EU’s next review,” the statement concluded.

(Reporting by Yasmine Saleh; Editing by Michael Fahy)

(Yasmine.saleh@thomsonreuters.com)

© ZAWYA 2017