“Be sure you put your feet in the right place, then stand firm” Abraham Lincoln
The latest report from the OECD, giving compliance ratings for 50 countries, was issued at the Global Forum’s meeting in Jakarta last week.
It was extremely pleasing to note the Isle of Man was amongst only eighteen jurisdictions that were rated as fully compliant with the OECD’s recommendations on tax information exchange. A further 26 were classified as ‘largely compliant’, including Guernsey, Jersey and the Cayman Islands. The USA and UK also came into this category, mainly because of the area surrounding company ownership registries, though the UK’s slow response to information requests was also highlighted.
Four jurisdictions – Luxembourg, Cyprus, the British Virgin Islands and the Seychelles – have been rated as non-compliant with international tax transparency standards in the latest report from the OECD’s Global Forum.
The four non-compliant jurisdictions failed because, although they had put suitable legislation in place to allow tax information exchange, it was considered that it was not being operated properly. Both Luxembourg and the BVI issued statements disputing the OECD’s findings.
A further 14 jurisdictions were not rated at all, because they do not have an acceptable legislative framework in place, including Switzerland, despite the progressive weakening of its banking secrecy laws in recent years.
As ever, whilst I personally believe it is good to see the Island helping to lead the way, we must not take backward steps, but continue to “stand firm” in this vital area.
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