Tax havens allow big companies and wealthy individuals to avoid paying their fair share of tax. This hurts people in countries where the taxes should have been paid – often hitting vulnerable people the hardest.
Governments that let this happen, through devious tax rates, dodgy schemes and opaque processes, are complicit in a system that makes the rich richer and keeps millions in poverty.
Last year, the EU released for the first time a blacklist of tax havens operating outside the EU, as they considered sanctions for those listed. It also created a ‘grey list’ of countries that qualified as tax havens and had promised reforms. After repeated calls for more transparency in the blacklisting process, the EU started publishing these commitments to reforms.
However, even with efforts by the EU to clarify the blacklisting process, it is still difficult to figure out which countries are on which list, and what reforms they have committed to.
To make things easier, Oxfam has made an interactive map that shows exactly who is on the blacklist and who is on the grey list, as well as the commitments they have made and other key information.
And if that's not enough, we’ve also included the unofficial national dish of each country, so that you can go on a virtual culinary journey while you find out which countries are keeping the top 1% rich.
For a look at the raw data behind the map, take a look at our Excel file (in English, French and Spanish) which we will update regularly.
What happens to countries on the blacklist?
Blacklisted countries face sanctions from the EU and individual member states, as well as a dent in their international reputation.
Countries on the grey list are supposed to be closely monitored by the EU, and pressured to implement the reforms they have committed to, or risk being blacklisted.
Oxfam calls on the EU to ensure that effective sanctions are applied to harmful tax havens, to make more transparent how the EU reviews countries’ commitments and to make sure that sufficient pressure is put on grey listed countries to implement reforms.
What about the tax havens at the heart of the EU?
The EU has kept very quiet about tax havens operating inside the EU. Last year, Oxfam published a report showing that, according to the EU’s own criteria, 4 countries in the EU should be blacklisted, but are not. We have shown these countries on the map in blue.
In December 2017, the EU released the EU blacklist of tax havens. Tax havens that committed to reforms were put on a ‘grey list’, which has since grown as the black list has shrunk.
Oxfam and other civil society organisations called for greater transparency in the blacklisting process, from both the EU governments and tax havens themselves.
In March 2018, the EU started publishing the commitments to reforms that tax havens had made which got them off the black list and onto the grey list.