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FREE: Tax evasion clampdown draws in €14 billion, says OECD

International efforts to clamp down on tax evasion have drawn in €14 billion ($19 billion) from would-be tax evaders, the OECD has confirmed.

Delivering the opening address at a two-day conference on tax transparency and information exchange event in Paris, Angel Gurria, OECD secretary general, stated that more than 100,000 tax evaders have been identified in more than 20 countries over the past two years.

“As cash-strapped governments look to pay down their deficits, this will make a substantial contribution to fiscal consolidation,” said Gurria. “Just as important, most of the additional revenue has been secured from citizens attempting to evade taxes.”

Gurria also praised the work of OECD member states in growing effective information exchange.

“Long standing obstacles to effective exchange of information, such as strict bank secrecy, have been blown away in both OECD and non-OECD jurisdictions. Even more remarkable, we now have a dialogue characterised by trust and openness, and a shared common purpose, where every jurisdiction, regardless of size, has a seat at the table,” said Gurria.

Italy has so far been the biggest beneficiary of the crackdown. A scheme to promote voluntary disclosure of offshore assets has helped bring in additional tax revenues of €5.6 billion.

Gurria confirmed that the organisation has so far completed almost 60 peer reviews over the last 18 months.

“The number of reviews completed and agreements signed is laudable,” said Gurria.

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