Noose tightens around global tax evasion as OECD countries sign new agreement

 
Catherine Neilan
Follow Catherine
OECD: The global organisation took a step forward in tackling tax evasion today (Source: OECD/Twitter)

The OECD just took a step closer to fighting tax evasion on a global scale, with 51 territories agreeing to create “information exchanges” that will help track culprits down.

The first signatories to the dull-sounding "multilateral competent authority agreement" – which include the UK and Ireland – will launch their information exchanges by September 2017. Others will follow in 2018.
The exchanges will hold “all financial information” updated automatically on an annual basis, and will be implemented on a reciprocal basis “with all interested jurisdictions”.
Governments have also committed to raising the bar on the standard of information made available on request by including a requirement that beneficial ownership of all legal entities be available to tax authorities and exchanged with treaty partners.
OECD secretary general Angel Gurria said: “We are making concrete progress toward the G20 objective of winning the fight against tax evasion.
"The fact that so many jurisdictions have agreed today to automatically exchange financial account information shows the significant change that can occur when the international community works together in a focused and ambitious manner.”
Developing countries have been invited to join the move towards an automatic exchange through a series of pilots designed to help out on the technical side. A new “African Initiative” has been launched to increase awareness of the merits of transparency within the continent.
Gurria added: “The world is quickly becoming a smaller place for tax cheats, and we are determined to ensure that developing countries also reap the benefits of greater financial sector transparency.”
The agreement was signed during the annual Global Forum, in which 123 countries and jurisdictions gather “on an equal footing”. This year Croatia and Peru joined the forum.
Here's the full list of the territories that have signed the agreement, and the date they will start sharing information:
1. ALBANIA September 2018
2. ANGUILLA September 2017
3. ARGENTINA September 2017
4. ARUBA September 2018
5. AUSTRIA September 2018
6. BELGIUM September 2017
7. BERMUDA September 2017
8. BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS September 2017
9. CAYMAN ISLANDS September 2017
10. COLOMBIA September 2017
11. CROATIA September 2017
12. CURAÇAO September 2017
13. CYPRUS September 2017
14. CZECH REPUBLIC September 2017
15. DENMARK September 2017
16. ESTONIA September 2017
17. FAROE ISLANDS September 2017
18. FINLAND September 2017
19. FRANCE September 2017
20. GERMANY September 2017
21. GIBRALTAR September 2017
22. GREECE September 2017
23. GUERNSEY September 2017
24. HUNGARY September 2017
25. ICELAND September 2017
26. IRELAND September 2017
27. ISLE OF MAN September 2017
28. ITALY September 2017
29. JERSEY September 2017
30. KOREA September 2017
31. LATVIA September 2017
32. LIECHTENSTEIN September 2017
33. LITHUANIA September 2017
34. LUXEMBOURG September 2017
35. MALTA September 2017
36. MAURITIUS September 2017
37. MEXICO September 2017
38. MONTSERRAT September 2017
39. NETHERLANDS September 2017
40. NORWAY September 2017
41. POLAND September 2017
42. PORTUGAL September 2017
43. ROMANIA September 2017
44. SAN MARINO September 2017
45. SLOVAK REPUBLIC September 2017
46. SLOVENIA September 2017
47. SOUTH AFRICA September 2017
48. SPAIN September 2017
49. SWEDEN September 2017
50. TURKS & CAICOS ISLANDS September 2017
51. UNITED KINGDOM September 2017

Related articles