‘The days of tax havens are over’

June 5th, 2009

Business Standard

Jeffrey Owens is the director of tax planning and administration at the OECD’s Centre for Tax Policy, which is responsible for framing tax principles and ensuring that tax havens fall in line on disclosure norms and share information. He spoke to Sidhartha on recent developments and the strategy India should adopt on double taxation avoidance treaties. Excerpts:

What is the progress on Switzerland and the three un-cooperative jurisdictions — Andorra, Liechtenstein and Monaco?
Exchange of information with Switzerland became quite central in the Indian elections, which was very interesting. We have always had a constructive engagement with Switzerland, which has an open economy and lots of multinationals around the world. The important thing is that Switzerland has taken a political decision to endorse the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) stance on transparency and exchange of information. In practice what that means is that they would begin to renegotiate tax treaties, not just with OECD countries but also with non-OECD countries to include Article 26 (on sharing of information).

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