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Worldwide Tax Havens PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 05 December 2008 16:04

Worldwide Tax Havens

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development has agreed to meet the 35 countries it “named and shamed” as harmful tax havens at a summit in Barbados early 2008.

The meeting, on January 8-9 2008, was co-sponsored by the Commonwealth Secretariat, many of whose members were on the list of territories deemed to facilitate tax avoidance. Invitations to the conference were extended to the governments of OECD and Commonwealth countries, as well as representatives of the IMF, the World Bank, the United Nations, the World Trade Organisation and relevant regional organisations.

Worldwide Tax Havens & The Jurisdictions

Barbados was one of the jurisdictions to find itself on the OECD’s now infamous list. Prime Minister Owen Arthur offered to host discussions between the Commonwealth Secretariat and the OECD in the hope of getting Barbados and a number of other offshore financial centres removed from the list. He made the suggestion during his budget statement last month. OECD sources said the meeting was intended to answer charges from several of the blacklisted nations that the OECD was “imperial” in its handling of the issue. An OECD press release said the meeting’s objective will be to “consider confidence-building measures, and develop a shared perspective on the way forward”.

Addressing the OECD’s council in Paris, the Committee on Fiscal Affairs’ chairman, Gabriel Makhlouf, said:

“The conference will provide an opportunity to continue the dialogue with jurisdictions in the region, developing shared perspectives on how to eliminate harmful tax practices.” He welcomed Owen Arthur’s statement, following a meeting at the Commonwealth Secretariat in London, that “the war of words has ended”.

Worldwide Tax Havens & OECD

As details of the summit were revealed, the OECD published a Framework for a Collective Memorandum of Understanding on Eliminating Harmful Tax Practices. The OECD said it was intended to improve cooperation with jurisdictions identified as tax havens and can form a basis for it to continue its dialogue with them It sets out the steps the OECD is asking them to take in order to demonstrate “a commitment to transparency, non-discrimination and effective cooperation”. It has been sent to all 35 jurisdictions included on the OECD list, along with a letter, setting out the enhanced procedures proposed by the OECD’s Committee on Fiscal Affairs to “meet the procedural and political concerns expressed by a number of jurisdictions”.

At the Commonwealth finance ministers’ meeting, held in Malta in September 2000, ministers mandated the Commonwealth Secretariat to facilitate high-level multilateral dialogue on the issues raised by harmful tax practices.

 

For more relevant news items and magazine articles please click the links below:

Article:  Tax Guide for Expats

News:  Jersey & Guernsey remain off tax haven black list

Article:  Weapons of Tax Destruction

Article: Stop the Tax Haven Abuse Bill

 

   

 

Last Updated on Monday, 27 April 2009 10:23
 

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