TaxCorporate TaxIMF to end ‘offshore’ distinction

IMF to end 'offshore' distinction

IMF to integrate offshore arm within its broader financial sector analysis

The IMF has moved to bring its ‘offshore’ arm within its overall financial
sector assessments, following criticisms that the offshore tag carries unwanted
connotations.

The IMF last week
announced the
move
, saying that it would, among other things, ‘eliminate the need to
maintain a potentially discriminatory list of OFC jurisdictions.’

The IMF’s assessments of offshore financial centres have proved
controversial, with one report produced under its auspices suggesting the
UK
itself was an offshore centre
.

But tax havens have been trying to throw off the baggage of tags like ‘tax
haven’ and ‘offshore’, which have negative connotations relating to money
laundering and financial crime.

The move has not lifted suspicions from the centres, however. In its public
release, the IMF said: ‘OFCs’ compliance with the 2003 Financial Action Task
Force (FATF) 40+9 Recommendations for AML/CFT [money laundering rules] remain a
source of concern. While the assessments, based on a sample of 21 OFCs, show
that compliance is generally comparable to that of non-OFC jurisdictions,
relatively low compliance was shown in certain key areas such as customer
identification, the monitoring of transactions, and international cooperation.’

Further Reading:

Read the
IMF’s announcement

Darling
on the offensive against UK tax haven claims

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