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Andorra Announces OECD Cooperation

by Phillip Morton, Investors

17 March 2009

Andorra’s government announced on March 10 that it would cooperate with OECD principles by reaching tax information exchange agreements by November 2009, when it will pass legislation to ease its banking secrecy controls. The announcement comes in anticipation of the G-20 summit on April 2, where a revised blacklist of uncooperative jurisdictions is expected to be discussed.

Andorra intends, as soon as the General Council passes the appropriate legislation, to conclude a double tax treaty and a TIEA with France, and other member states.

The move by Andorra, and similar moves by Monaco and Liechtenstein, indicate that all remaining blacklisted jurisdictions are beginning to conform with OECD principles on transparency and tax information exchange.

Welcoming recent revelations, which have seen increased conformity by a number of jurisdictions, including Hong Kong, Singapore and the Cayman Islands, OECD Secretary General Angel Gurria stated: "Moves by a number of financial centres over recent weeks have given a welcome boost to efforts to promote transparency and exchange of information on tax matters."

"While many jurisdictions still maintain arrangements that prevent them from assisting foreign authorities in tax investigations, recent actions and statements consistent with the OECD standards in this area on the part of some show that real progress is being achieved."

"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," he said, adding: "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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