UK pressures OECD to tackle unhelpful tax jurisdictions

THE OECD’S handling of non-cooperative tax jurisdictions has been put under the spotlight by chancellor George Osborne, who has called on the European forum to list tax jurisdictions which do not meet international tax transparency standards.

Osborne’s request to the OECD is the latest measure taken by the UK to clamp down on tax evasion following the Panama Papers scandal.

The chancellor has also asked the OECD to lay out ‘options for coordinated counter-measures’ against disobliging tax jurisdictions.

‘Much colder place’ for tax havens

Speaking ahead of a G20 meeting of finance ministers George Osborne said:

“We’ve got international agreement to a black list of tax havens and that means we can get global action against those who don’t play by the rules. The world is getting a much colder place for the hotspots of international tax evasion.”

Last week the chancellor announced that the EU’s five largest economies have banded together to automatically share information on the ultimate owners of companies and new registers of trusts.

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‘Veil of secrecy’

Tax authorities have been working around the clock to respond to public concern following the Panama Papers leak, with David Cameron recently announcing the creation of a joint taskforce to investigate the financial affairs of companies mentioned in the leaked Mossack Fonseca documents.

The chancellor has also written to G20 counterparts urging them to join this initiative and remove ‘the veil of secrecy under which criminals operate’.

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