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OECD countries take aim on tax havens

Representatives of 20 of the world’s leading economies meet Tuesday to discuss how to crack down on so-called tax havens, with the global financial crisis boosting calls to tighten the screws - reports The Economic Times.


The meeting of 20 Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries had been scheduled for sometime, but the financial crisis has brought a great sense of urgency to the meeting. “We cannot resolve the financial crisis by introducing more regulation and leaving pockets of non-regulation to prosper,” said Pascal Saint Amans, head of the OECD’s international tax division. While they are not the cause of the crisis, the 50 tax havens across the world that are estimated to hold $10 trillion of financial assets are seen as having contributed to the instability of the financial system.

The countries will publish an open letter in which they will underline their wish to crack down on tax havens. Tax havens are countries with a tax structure established to allow wealthy individuals or companies to pay less, or even no tax. They attract overseas investors because money can be parked there with a high level of secrecy and protection from international tax investigators. (full article) (The Economic Times)