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ITIO Accuses OECD Of Double Standards

by Amanda Banks, Tax-News.com, London

15 February 2002


The International Tax and Investment Organisation (ITIO), a group of small and developing countries established to help smaller low tax jurisdictions respond to the challenges posed by OECD and FATF demands, has renewed calls for a level playing field in terms of international tax and money laundering initiatives.

Offshore jurisdictions have until February 29th to commit to OECD proposals on 'harmful tax practices'. However, in a letter to the OECD Secretary General, ITIO Director, Lynette Eastmond, called for an end to the 'double standards' practiced by the multilateral organisation, and posed the question: 'May I ask on behalf of the ITIO when you anticipate all OECD members making a public commitment to observing the principle of a level playing field?'

Ms Eastmond, who is also the Director of International Business in Barbados (which was recently removed from the OECD's 'blacklist'), called for greater involvement of all parties concerned in the development of new international rules, in addition to the implementation of standards on a fair and equal basis.

She observed that small and developing countries 'have long objected to being asked to implement standards that OECD member states themselves refuse to accept.' In her letter to Donald Johnston, the ITIO Director stated that in the eyes of member states, a level playing field is necessary in all OECD initiatives relating to trade in services, not just in taxation and corporate vehicle issues.


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