EU confirms S. Korea’s exclusion from tax haven blacklist

By Bae Hyunjung
  • Published : Mar 12, 2019 - 22:31
  • Updated : Mar 12, 2019 - 22:31

The European Union confirmed its decision to exclude South Korea from its tax haven blacklist, acknowledging the country’s efforts throughout last year to improve transparency in foreign investment, Seoul’s Ministry of Economy and Finance said Tuesday.

The Economic and Financial Affairs Council, consisting of economic and finance ministers of EU member states, made its final decision to rule Korea out of the EU List of noncooperative jurisdictions for tax purposes.

In December 2017, the council designated Asia’s fourth-largest economy as a potential tax haven, claiming the country’s corporate tax exemption for foreign-invested companies was in breach of the principle of fair taxation. The EU list included 16 other states, with the United Arab Emirates, Mongolia and Panama among others.

In the following month, Korea was moved to its gray list on the precondition it make necessary amendments by the end of the year.

In line with the promise, Seoul’s government revised its tax regulation in December to eliminate the disputed partial tax exemption system, a change which took effect starting January this year.

“The latest decision to exclude (Korea) from the EU list reflects the country’s efforts to comply with international standards,” said an official of the ministry.

By Bae Hyun-jung (