New OECD Black list
On April 2, 2009, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) updated its list on non-cooperating tax havens. Earlier this month, the G20 announced its intention of taking action against non-cooperative jurisdictions, including tax havens, that failed to implement international standards of transparency and exchange of banking information for tax purposes.
The report which follows consists of three parts:
- jurisdictions that have substantially implemented the internationally agreed tax standard (the white list.)
- tax havens and other financial centers that have committed to the internationally agreed tax standard but have not yet substantially implemented it (the grey list.)
- jurisdictions that have not committed to implement the internationally agreed tax standard (the black list.)
The OECD is a group of 30 of the world’s most developed countries whose avowed purpose is “to help governments foster prosperity and fight poverty through economic growth and financial stability.” This action is part of the OECD’s continuing drive to crackdown on tax evasion and cross-border tax evasion, particularly driven by the actions of its Financial Action Tax Drive. There are many in lesser developed countries who would argue that these actions are actually aimed at tax uniformity and standardization of tax rates.
It is possible that G20 sanctions may be initiated against the black list or non-cooperative countries in the future.
It is interesting to note that many white list countries still offer interesting tax planning capabilities such as the United States and the US Virgin Islands as well as Ireland, Cyprus and Malta for European Holding Companies.
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