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OECD praises offshore centres on fight against tax evasion

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development has welcomed moves made by a number of offshore financial centres to help fight against tax evasion.

In an OECD statement Secretary-General Angel Gurría says progress made by a number of jurisdictions over recent weeks has given a welcome boost to efforts to promote transparency and exchange of information on tax matters.

He highlights that many jurisdictions still maintain arrangements that prevent them from assisting foreign authorities in tax investigations but notes recent efforts made by Singapore, Hong Kong/China, Andorra and the Isle of Man to improve transparency.

Liechtenstein, which has already signed a tax information exchange agreement with the United States, has announced its acceptance of OECD standards and its willingness to negotiate agreements that provide for effective exchange of information in all tax matters.

The Cayman Islands has also announced that it will sign tax information exchange agreements with seven Nordic economies on April 1 bringing to eight the number of such agreements that it has with other economies.

Gurría says: “Ending the abuse of banking secrecy arrangements that facilitate tax evasion is part of a broader drive to clean up one of the more controversial sides of a globalised economy.

“The support of the G-20 for efforts to improve transparency and exchange of information has underscored their relevance for both developed and developing countries.”


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