07 août 2009
OCDE Echange de renseignements : un point
Since the beginning of 2009, international tax evasion and the implementation of the internationally agreed tax standard has been very high on the political agenda, reflecting recent scandals that have affected countries around the world, the spotlight that the global financial crisis has put on financial centres generally, and the recent G20 London Summit.
In July 2008, the G8 Heads of State and Government urged “all countries that have not yet fully implemented the OECD standards of transparency and effective exchange of information in tax matters to do so without further delay, and encourage the OECD to strengthen its work on tax evasion and report back in 2010.2” Similarly, the action plan issued by the G20 following its meeting in November 2008 recognised the importance of the OECD work in this area and urged that failures to implement the standards should be “vigorously addressed”. At its London Summit, the G20 followed up its Washington commitment by a strong call for action.
This heightened political attention has led to a number of significant and positive developments among financial centres since the G20 met in November 2008:
• All OECD countries now accept Article 26 (Exchange of Information) of the OECD Model Tax Convention, as updated in 2005, following the withdrawal by Austria, Belgium, Luxembourg and Switzerland of their reservations to Article 26.
These four countries are actively negotiating updates to their treaty networks. Belgium and Luxembourg have already signed at least 12 agreements that meet the standard and Switzerland has initialled 12 with OECD
• Hong Kong (China), Macao (China) and Singapore – three countries that are amongst ........