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OECD Assesses Tax Transparency

by Ulrika Lomas, Tax-News.com, Brussels

03 December 2012


Tax experts from 22 countries have met in Tokyo to discuss new programs and initiatives to tackle offshore tax evasion, as part of an Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Forum on Tax Administration.

Hosted by Japan's National Tax Administration, the Offshore Compliance Network of experts held closed two-day discussions on recent developments on tax transparency and information exchange, which have included the development of further intergovernmental model agreements with the United States for the implementation of the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), and the negotiation by European nations of bilateral withholding tax agreements with Switzerland and Austria as an alternative to automatic information exchange.

The group discussed policies that could improve the detection of offshore tax evasion, and the varying levels of success achieved by the numerous tax amnesties and voluntary disclosure programs on offer to delinquent taxpayers. The Network also discussed nations' powers of enforcement, and current best practices in offshore compliance work, in particular in relation to schemes that illegitimately use corporate vehicles to mitigate tax.

The Forum on Tax Administration is a forum for co-operation between revenue bodies at commissioner-level with participation from 43 countries. In 2011, the Forum established three sub-networks to specialize in issues relating to large businesses, high net worth individuals and offshore evasion.

The Offshore Compliance Network has been credited with developing a number of practical methods for improving the detection and correction of offshore evasion and is encouraging closer collaboration between tax administrations in this area.

TAGS: compliance | Offshore | tax | tax compliance | tax avoidance | enforcement | offshore | agreements | Switzerland | United States | Japan | Compliance

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