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What should be the findings regarding tax havens at the G 20 meeting?

Last week, many jurisdictions that fear to be on the OECD black list said they are going to relax there their banking secrecy legislation.
As Senator Levin said (), “That is a very welcome development which is long overdue, and we look forward to effective implementation of the promised new policies. (…) The promised new limits on offshore secrecy will not only likely take years to implement, but even after taking effect, will not eliminate all offshore tax abuses”. That is the reason why he will proceed with legislation he introduced in the Senate last week.
As far as the G 20 is concerned, the experience of the Luxembourg financial center demonstrates the need for continuing the pressure. Luxembourg minister Luc Frieden said last Friday that Angel Gurria told him that Luxembourg is not a tax haven. I guess Angel Gurria will be happy to be to be evoked or rather called upon for a “satisfecit” of morality in business by a jurisdiction of 2500 Km2:

- that provided the FATF with a generous grant that was not quoted as a funding of the FATF while not implementing the OECD convention on corruption;

- where there is neither a balance sheets database nor the judiciary judgements available online;

- where many registered companies are scams (Shareholders from exotic jurisdictions that exist only in the Luxembourg Corporate Registration, Statutory auditors from exotic jurisdictions that exist only in the Luxembourg Corporate Registration…);

- where there are only a few “repressive” procedures;

- that finds the means for its promotion while not putting into place the necessary infrastructure i.e. all sufficient human and technical means and internal rules in order to carry out all the duties and tasks related to the role of a major financial center: for example, despite the large financial sector, the Luxembourg FIU (the CRF) is made up of two magistrates full-time, of a magistrate at half time, an financial analyst and a secretary . There is a very simple rule: If you don't put in place the relevant means to control, nothing can be found. It is like in a bus, if there are too little controllers for the bus network, most fraudsters will not be detected;

- and so on.

The small size emphasizes dysfunctions. I know that I have readers that are upset when I focus on Luxembourg. But the small size of the jurisdiction allows identifying these dysfunctions all the more than they are in public and official sources that are the visible part of the iceberg.

That is the reason why a couple of pragmatic decisions should be taken at the G 20:

Encourage the jurisdictions that said they are going to relax banking secrecy, including Luxembourg, by deciding a “grey list” to test the effective implementation. The black list and grey list would be updated every three months. Any jurisdiction that would not respect the international commitments would be blacklisted.

Ensure that the OECD has an integrated view of sensitive topics. Currently a jurisdiction like Liechtenstein is on the list of non cooperative countries, but it is no longer on the FATF list. There are links between corruption, harmful tax practices and money laundering. There should be one list taking into account all these parameters.

Build an International Tax Court, where would be filed the claims of the jurisdictions that are victims of jurisdictions that do not comply with international commitments regarding taxes.

18:50 Posted in General | Permalink | Comments (0)

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