European ruling ends Rock's tax haven status
22 July 2005, BRUSSELS — The European Court of Justice ruled Gibraltar must comply with the European Union's rules on tax information.
22 July 2005
BRUSSELS — The European Court of Justice ruled Gibraltar must comply with the European Union's rules on tax information.
It comes after Spain complained Gibraltar was not complying with EU rules on fiscal transparency, the Spanish daily El Pais reported.
Europe's highest court called on Gibraltar's financial authorities to provide information about private investments there when requested to do so by other EU states.
The ruling effectively ends the British colony's status as a tax haven.
It is the end of a long battle between the Spanish government, backed by the EU, and the British authorities in Gibraltar.
Spain has claimed VAT should be applied in the British colony at the same rate as elsewhere in the EU.
Madrid also claims tax information should be exchanged under the terms of the EU's "mutual assistance" arguments.
The court ruled: "The UK has failed to uphold its obligations under EU rules."
Until now, British authorities have argued that EU obligations are not binding on Gibraltar because the colony was excluded from the country's 1973 accession agreement.
But a 1997 EU ruling to get rid of tax havens cleared the way for Spain to bring the Gibraltar case.
Subject: Spanish news