FOUR PACIFIC NATIONS ON FRENCH TAX BLACKLIST

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Among countries ignoring world transparency standards

HONOLULU (Pacific Islands Report, Feb. 25, 2010) – A new French initiative to punish countries failing to comply with international tax reporting standards has reportedly targeted Nauru, Niue, the Cook Islands, and the Marshall Islands.

According to Reuters news service, the Pacific nations are among 18 countries worldwide facing boycott under measures drawn up by France last year.

The measures include a 50 percent tax on dividends, interest, royalties and service fees paid by a person based in France to a beneficiary based in one of the listed countries. A 50 percent tax will also be applied to gains from real estate and securities transactions carried out by persons or companies based in the listed places, Reuters reports.

The list of uncooperative countries includes: Anguilla, Belize, Brunei, Costa Rica, Dominica, Grenada, Guatemala, Cook Islands, Marshall Islands, Liberia, Montserrat, Nauru, Niue, Panama, Philippines, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and Grenadines.

Reuters notes that leaders of the Group of 20 world economic powers launched a campaign last year to name and shame countries that failed to improve tax standards and transparency.

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