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OECD looks to strengthen tax compliance through cooperation

Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development has released its communique on the seventh meeting of the Forum on Tax Administration, which concluded last week. Delegates at the summit renewed their commitment to strengthening tax compliance through cooperation. 

Wednesday, January 25, 2012
Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development’s (OECD) seventh meeting of the Forum on Tax Administration (FTA), which brought together the heads of tax administrations from 43 countries, concluded with a unified and strengthened OECDcommitment to combat offshore tax abuse, according to a communique released at the end of last week.

“Our strategy includes unprecedented sharing and exchange of information and coordinated action to better identify and tirelessly pursue the promoters and users of abusive offshore schemes. Those who once felt safe concealing their money and assets overseas are now in an increasingly risky position,” the communique read.

“We also focused on the need to work smarter in times of shrinking budgets, and how to strengthen our relationship with large corporations through efficient and effective strategies that benefit both the taxpayer and taxing authority. Our discussion was enriched by the presence of business leaders and we are very grateful for the contribution they made to our meeting.”

The FTA release said that an adversarial relationship between tax administrations and multinational corporate taxpayers was counterproductive and “is contrary to our common goals, which are earlier and greater certainty, consistency, and efficiency.”

“To this end, we agreed that we need to create innovative strategies for issue resolution that are less time and resource intensive for both, while still promoting a climate that encourages compliance with tax laws. We will pay particular attention to the process of conducting and resolving transfer pricing cases. Overall, we intend to move away from a hide and seek approach to one based on greater transparency on the part of both taxpayers and tax administrations. As more companies put good tax compliance at the heart of their corporate governance, this will be easier to achieve.”

The communique concluded: “The global challenge of offshore tax abuse demands coordinated action between countries that keeps the pressure up and makes it more difficult and risky for those taxpayers unlawfully and secretly hiding money offshore. We owe that to the majority who play by the rules and pay their fair share of taxes.”

The Bahamas Financial Services Board has announced a list of international events and conferences that it will be attending throughout the upcoming year, including trips to Hong Kong, Geneva and cities in Brazil.

Mega-resort operator is in the process of demolishing existing hotels to make way for luxury brand accommodation, while an announcement on its casino brand is imminent, according to a resort official.

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