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Not an end to secrecy, but a first step in the right direction
October 30th, 2014
5761956488_abc5734fc7_zA multitude of officials are heralding a new cross-border tax information exchange crafted by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) as the end of tax evasion as we know it. Unfortunately, the truth may be a bit more ambiguous. Wolfgang Schaeuble, Germany's finance head, stated unequivocally that "banking secrecy in its old form has had its day." Others, from George Osborne of the United Kingdom to Michel Sapinof France echoed similar praises. While the reforms, which were discussed at a Berlin conference this week, are a big step in...
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G20 Introduces “Transparency” Behind Closed Doors
September 21st, 2014
WASHINGTON, D.C.—The G20’s recent focus on financial transparency is a welcome development, but instituting bare minimum requirements, or plans that allow for exclusion, simply give illicit flows an opportunity to continue their hazardous drain on the world’s most vulnerable economies. Last Tuesday, the OECD released recommendations on Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS), which are aimed at cutting down on the ability of corporations to shift profits into tax havens. It’s well intentioned, but the execution leaves much to be desired. “Apparently, transparency now takes place behind closed doors,” said Porter McConnell, Manager of the Financial Transparency Coalition (FTC). “From a...
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INFOGRAPHIC: Automatic Exchange of Information Shouldn’t Leave Countries Behind
July 28th, 2014
The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) is moving towards implementing a new tool for catching tax evaders: automatic exchange of financial information (AEOI). While the name might sound a bit confusing, the idea is pretty simple. Governments in the system will share financial information with each other at designated intervals, enabling authorities to find individuals and corporations that are stashing assets in foreign countries to evade taxes. While it’s a welcome initiative, we have serious concerns about the OECD's efforts thus far to include developing countries. Developing countries are some of the hardest hit by tax evasion and...
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The June 2014 Taxcast: Piketty, the World Cup, and capital flight
June 24th, 2014
TJNlogoFTC coordinating member, Tax Justice Network just released June's edition of TaxCast, a monthly podcast covering tax and transparency issues from around the globe. This month's edition covers a wide range of topics, including Thomas Piketty's new book on wealth inequality, Capital in the 21st Century, FIFA's role as a temporary tax haven, and the OECD process towards automatic information exchange.
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