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Fiscal paradise lost: Andorra criminalises tax evasion

© AFP/File | Andorra, once entirely tax-free, now imposes a 10 percent income tax on both individuals and companies, as well as sales taxes of up to 4.5 percent

ANDORRA LA VELLA (ANDORRA) (AFP) - 

Andorra has criminalised tax evasion, a parliamentary source said Monday as the tiny mountain principality, once a popular tax haven, moves towards full banking transparency.

Last year, the OECD removed Andorra from its "grey" list of tax havens after it agreed to the automatic exchange of information on non-residents' bank accounts.

The system, which will take effect in January 2018 in the country of 80,000 people perched in the Pyrenees mountains, is a key tool in the fight against money laundering and terrorism financing.

The new law, passed unanimously last Thursday, makes tax evasion punishable by between three months and three years in jail for amounts of between 75,000 and 150,000 euros ($172,000).

For larger sums or more serious cases, such as those involving organised crime, the prison term could total five years.

Convictions will also carry fines.

Andorra, once entirely tax-free, now imposes a 10 percent income tax on both individuals and companies, as well as sales taxes of up to 4.5 percent.

© 2017 AFP