From Global Witness: "Information on who ultimately owns and controls British companies goes live for the first time today." That's good news, amid all the Brexit brouhaha (and idiotic and dangerous plans to privatise the UK's Land Registry.) Meanwhile, the FACT coalition in the United States … [Read more...]
If a person or entity resident in one jurisdiction owns income-generating assets in another jurisdiction, the resident’s tax authorities generally need to know about that asset or income, to assess their tax liabities. So jurisdictions exchange information with each other for tax (and other) purposes under a range of international schemes, agreements and protocols. Many, of course, don’t exchange or even collect that information locally – or they put up obstacles in the way of information exchange.
Historically, the OECD, a club of rich countries that has been mandated by G20 leaders to promote the agenda, has claimed that its very weak “on request” standards for information exchange constitute the “internationally agreed standard” for information exchange. “On request” means that information is only passed over after a clear request is made, specifying the taxpayer concerned and various other bits of information about him or her. In essence, you have to already know what you are looking for before you ask for it.
However, from around 2012 a new consensus started to emerge, strongly supported by the Tax Justice Network and its allies, that the world needs far stronger standards, notably “automatic” information exchange between jurisdiction, on a multilateral basis. Various working examples of automatic information exchange are already up and running: perhaps most notably the EU’s Savings Tax Directive and the U.S. Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA.)
This page provides links and news about information exchange. See also our information exchange archive for older stories.
Image credit: Christian Aid, with thanks.
Update: making clear that the Swiss text we cited is a provisional test. As we've often said before, it is counterproductive (and an analytical error) to see the fight against tax havens in purely geographical terms. When the U.S. Justice Department started taking action against Swiss bankers, … [Read more...]
Update: Part 2 is here. As the political dust settles on the Panama papers and the anti-corruption summit, the focus is now moving to concrete solutions. In June 2016 the European Union is expected to review its anti-money laundering directive, including controversial rules on the beneficial … [Read more...]
The UK government has failed to deliver a decisive blow against financial secrecy at its Anti-Corruption Summit. David Cameron failed to convince or compel leaders of British overseas territories and crown dependencies to end their hidden ownership vehicles, despite having called for such a move for … [Read more...]
From the BEPS Monitoring Group, a TJN-backed civil society organisation tasked with monitoring the OECD's so-called "Base Erosion and Profit Shifting" (BEPS) proposals to crack down on international corporate tax avoidance. The (wonkish but important) submission here concerns so-called "non-CIV" … [Read more...]