Sunday, April 05, 2009

BBC News: British and Chinese tax havens excluded from G-20 list

Ministers have claimed that the Isle of Man has escaped being named on the G20 summit's blacklist of tax havens.

he leaders of the G20 agreed to crackdown on tax havens. Now the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development has published a list of countries not complying with international standards. The move has caused an uproar among some of the world's most powerful nations.
Richard Scott reports.

Switzerland eases bank secrecy

Switzerland, the world's largest offshore financial centre, has agreed to accept concessions on bank secrecy.

It is estimated that Switzerland's banks hold $2 trillion (£1.4tn) of global wealth held abroad.

Tax evasion change
The Swiss government confirmed that in line with OECD rules, it would now respond to overseas requests for information in cases of suspected tax evasion, and not just tax fraud.
Low or no taxation
Lack of transparency
Refusal to provide information to foreign tax authorities
Andorra, Liechtenstein, and Monaco classed as "uncooperative tax havens"
Source: OECD
The main difference between tax evasion and tax fraud is that the former is the deliberate concealing of assets, while the later also involves lying on official documentation.
Unlike most countries, tax evasion is a civil offence in Switzerland. Only tax fraud is a criminal matter.

Full text in

Switzerland has agreed to accept concessions on bank secrecy and will now abide by international rules on bank data sharing but the Swiss government said it would only respond to "concrete and justified" requests.
Switzerland, which is the world's largest offshore financial centre, had risked being added to a global blacklist of uncooperative tax havens.
The Chancellor Alistair Darling told the BBC that the change was a "major move" for Switzerland.


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