The French / UK Summit: TIEAs and CbC

July 7th, 2009

Our good friend and Task Force member, Richard Murphy, has gotten ahold of the UK/France Summit Communiqué and points out some very exciting language.  1st – both countries acknowledge that 12 TIEA agreements to do not a clean jurisdiction make.  And 2nd – both countries call on the OECD to look at the benefits of country-by-country reporting.  From the communiqué (emphasis added by Richard Murphy):

France and the United Kingdom will also address the task of implementing the decision of the G20 concerning uncooperative jurisdictions and remain vigilant in ensuring that the 42 countries on the OECD “grey list” meet their commitment to apply international standards for the exchange of tax-related information.

It is essential that we maintain the momentum set by the London Summit. We are therefore clear that where jurisdictions have not reached the standard of information exchange agreement by March 2010, they should be subject to coordinated international counter-measures agreed in London.

Both our countries also stress the importance of combating tax evasion and undertake to combine our efforts to reinforce the coherence and effectiveness of international action in this domain. We agree that the threshold of 12 tax information exchange agreements should be seen as a starting point in the move towards greater tax transparency. If progress stalls we will expect the threshold to rise above 12, bringing those who have not made further progress back into the “grey list”.

We will work together through the G20 to ensure that proposals are developed by the time of the next G20 Summit to ensure that developing countries can benefit from the new cooperative tax environment, including through a new multilateral tax information exchange agreement. We also call on the OECD to look at country by country reporting and the benefits of this for tax transparency and reducing tax avoidance.

Indeed France’s vocal support for country-by-country reporting  is very significant given that this is the first time that France has ever vocally supported country-by-country reporting.  The UK, of course, came out strongly in favor of country-by-country reporting a few weeks ago in the lead up to the summit of finance ministers in Berlin on June 23.  This is another huge victory for Christian Aid, TJN, and Richard Murphy who have implemented a full-court press on country-by-country reporting over the past couple of months.

Written by Clark Gascoigne

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