OECD: Overview On Countering International Tax Evasion
by Robin Pilgrim, LawandTax-News, London
22 September 2009
In the run up to the G20 meeting in Pittsburgh, the OECD has published ‘An Overview Of The OECD’s Work In Countering Tax Evasion’. The following are significant excerpts:
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'All OECD countries now accept Article 26 (Exchange of Information) of the OECD Model Tax Convention, as updated in 2005, following the withdrawal by Austria, Belgium, Luxembourg, and Switzerland of their reservations to Article 26. These four countries are actively negotiating updates to their treaty networks. Belgium and Luxembourg have each already signed at least 12 agreements that meet the standard, and Switzerland has initialed 12 with OECD countries.'
'Hong Kong (China), Macao (China) and Singapore – three jurisdictions that are amongst those surveyed by the Global Forum – have each announced that they will put forward relevant legislation in 2009 in order to comply with the internationally-agreed standard.'
'More than 90 tax information exchange agreements (TIEAs) have been signed or announced since last November, and over 130 TIEAs have been signed overall. In addition, scores more have already been initialed or are being negotiated.'
- 'Andorra, Liechtenstein and Monaco – identified by the OECD in 2002 as uncooperative tax havens – have endorsed the OECD standards and indicated their willingness to change their domestic legislation and to enter into agreements for the exchange of information. Each of these jurisdictions has already signed first agreements.'
'Since the issuance of the 2nd April Progress Report, nine jurisdictions – Aruba, Austria, Belgium, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Bahrain, Cayman Islands, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands Antilles – have signed enough agreements so that they can now be considered to have substantially implemented the internationally-agreed tax standard.'
'Prior to the issuance of the 2nd April Progress Report, Brunei and Guatemala wrote to the OECD to formally endorse the internationally-agreed tax standard and identify the steps or to be taken this year to implement the standard.'
'Costa Rica, Malaysia, the Philippines and Uruguay, originally identified in the 2nd April Progress Report as not having endorsed the internationally-agreed tax standard, have now done so and have identified concrete steps to be taken this year to implement it.'
'With these endorsements, all countries surveyed by the Global Forum have now endorsed the standard.'