The Macau government says it is “maintaining close contact” with mainland China authorities on the adoption of the Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters – an initiative of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) it believes would be helpful in having Macau taken off the European Union’s (EU) list of “non-cooperative” taxation jurisdictions.
Macau was one of 17 nations named by the EU last week as a tax avoidance haven, joining the likes of South Korea, the UAE, Guam, Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago on the unwanted blacklist.
The government was quick to criticize Macau’s addition as “unilateral and biased” however the Secretary for Economy and Finance, Leong Vai Tac, stated on Sunday that authorities will now work diligently to be removed from the blacklist “on the proviso there is evidence that other jurisdictions in a similar position have had similar listing status lifted after taking follow-up measures.”
He reiterated that Macau was not a “tax-avoidance haven.”
Leong said that Macau has always closely engaged with international bodies and the EU in the exchange of tax information and in the fight against cross-border tax evasion.
He also pointed to the Asia/Pacific Group on Money Laundering (APG) Mutual Evaluation Report (MER) 2017, released last week, in which Macau obtained six “substantial effectiveness” ratings regarding the effectiveness of its supervision efforts against money laundering.