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Tax haven changes good, more needed

Reuters has reported that Senator Levin, the author of U.S. legislation attacking offshore tax havens said he welcomed changes in bank secrecy laws just announced by several nations, but added he will press ahead with his bill.

"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", he said.

16:42 Posted in General | Permalink | Comments (0)


No blank cheque while jurisdictions are saying they are ready to ease banking secrecy

Moves by a number of financial centres over recent weeks in favour of transparency and exchange of information on tax matters have given a welcome boost to efforts to counter international tax evasion, OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría said yesterday.

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.

After Liechenstein, Andorra and Belgium, the three juristiction that met last Sunday - Switzerland, Austria and Luxembourg - offered concessions today, but insisted their bank secrecy principle remained intact.

Banking secrecy is legitimate for their citizens. It should not be opposable to foreign tax administrations.

The experience of the Luxembourg jurisdiction with the OECD unfortunately inclines with mistrust vis-a-vis these declarations:

Luxembourg cooperates in the framework of the Anti-Bribery Convention : but it is reluctant to implement international Recs. For example penal liability of legal persons required since a couple of years and today still neither enacted nor enforced.

Definitely reluctant, because the jurisdiction was able to change its constitution in a couple of months with a unanimous vote : The Grand Duke announced his refusal to sign a legal text on 2 December 2008. The project of revision of the constitution was filed in on 3 December 2008. The first vote took place on 11 december 2008. The second vote took place on 12 March 2009.

All these jurisdiction should not have a blank cheque : to be removed from the list they have to prove that what they are saying are no delaying tactics to avoid the registering on the blacklist. To encourage them, the OECD should build a grey list of these jurisdictions on the right track to be certain that the commitment will be actual.

17:30 Posted in General | Permalink | Comments (1)



Reuters quoting La Tribune wrote that Switzerland, Luxembourg, Austria, Singapore and Hong Kong will be added to the OECD's list of non-cooperative tax centres.

The newspaper said the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development would include around 30 countries out of 84 that were examined.

As I already wrote, banking secrecy is a criterion of tax haven, so are law taxes. The determining criterion is permissiveness.

18:22 Posted in General | Permalink | Comments (0)