EXCLUSIVE: Why tax justice campaigners and the OECD are not seeing eye to eye
14 March 2012
Salman Shaheen - ITR
A report from the Tax Justice Network (TJN) has piled criticism on the OECD’s methods of tackling tax haven secrecy. It has drawn the ire of the organisation’s head of tax, Pascal Saint-Amans, and deepened a growing divide between the two camps on how best to stamp out avoidance.
The OECD launched the Global
Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax
Purposes to promote cooperation and information exchange
between tax authorities around the world. With 108 countries
involved, it has expanded far beyond its OECD origins and its
peer review process, assessing the effectiveness of tax
information exchange agreements (TIEAs), is seen as the
world’s most prominent effort to tackle financial
secrecy and tax avoidance.
The arguments put forward by the
TJN in their report, entitled
Creeping Futility of the Global Forum’s Peer
Reviews, however, seeks to challenge the
OECD’s dominance over international standards on
While the TJN praise the forum’s work for
highlighting "rampant and notorious tax haven abuse",
implementing some legal changes, giving tax investigators
better access to evidence of known cases, increasing the
accuracy of information from what was previously available and
providing new information about sanctions and
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