OECD updates anti-tax evasion list
Europe’s attempts to clean up tax evasion and money laundering took a step forward yesterday when an international task group said that Austria — a eurozone nation that was until recently falling short —was almost fully compliant with new international standards.
The Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax is a taskforce of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in Paris. It was given additional powers by the world’s leading powers following the global financial crisis.
Moves against tax havens and off-shore centres across the world had gone into abeyance for some time. But the new impetus meant many countries now aim to share information about their citizens and corporations.
The club now involves 127 nations and territories and the OECD tax forum periodically reviews whether laws are sufficiently robust and whether authorities are sharing information to prevent suspected tax evasion.
Ireland has been deemed “Compliant” under the group’s so-called Phase 2 study for some time.
Yesterday, Austria, which was previously rated “partially compliant” since July 2013, was found to have followed the recommendations of the global forum.
That means it was upgraded to a “largely compliant” status.
Austria now joins Germany and the US as “largely compliant”.
The Isle of Man is assessed as “compliant”, while Jersey and Gibraltar are seen as “largely compliant”.
The OECD global forum also yesterday said that it upgraded the British Virgin Islands from “non-compliant” to “largely compliant”.
Meanwhile, the forum said some jurisdictions have requested reviews. The Marshall Islands, which had previously been blocked from moving to a Phase 2 review, will now be assessed.
Panama, Nauru, Kazakhstan, Lebanon, Liberia, Trinidad and Tobago and Vanuatu have yet to move to a Phase 2 assessment, however.
Phase 1 reviews were undertaken for Albania, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Dominican Republic, Lesotho, Pakistan and Uganda.
The global forum has now signed off on compliance ratings for 80 jurisdictions with Phase 2 reviews.
Of these, 21 jurisdictions are rated “compliant”, 46 are rated “largely compliant”, ten are rated “partially compliant” and 3 jurisdictions are “non-compliant.”
A further 12 jurisdictions are blocked from moving to a Phase 2 review due to insufficiencies in their legal and regulatory framework, it said.