OECD publishes delayed report

The report was due to be made public in July but was held up when Spain vetoed publication over complaints about financial arrangements in Gibraltar.

This report is the crucial document containing the formal decision to extend a deadline for a number of tax jurisdictions to make a commitment to OECD measures on harmful tax regimes. The deadline had been 31 July this year, but the new date is 28 February 2002.

Publication comes only after the spat, in which Spain insisted Britain had to negotiate on Gibraltar’s behalf and not for itself, was resolved.

A footnote in the report states that the UK has ‘confirmed’ it will remain responsible for the ‘international obligations’ of overseas territories or crown dependencies.

Gabriel Makhlouf, chairman of the OECD’s committee on fiscal affairs, said he could not say why Spain had vetoed the report.

Last year the OECD named and shamed 47 of what it called ‘potential tax regimes’ in OECD member countries. It also described 35 jurisdictions as ‘tax havens’.

Enormous criticism was launched at the OECD for its work and as a result modifications have been made to the process by which it persuades authorities to commit to new tax measures.

The OECD is pushing the targetted regimes to improve transparency and exchange of information.


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