Remarks by Angel Gurría
Whistler, Canada - 2 June 2018
(As prepared for delivery)
There have been many significant developments in the area of international tax over the last months. Almost 50 countries have started automatic exchange of financial account information in September 2017, which is a key milestone. The implementation of the Base Erosion and Profit Shifting Project is delivering its first results. But despite these good news, challenges remain.
Starting with those raised by the digitalisation of the economy. We delivered an interim report in March to G20 Finance Ministers on the tax challenges arising from digitalisation. It shows important disagreements between countries on whether the rules should be changed or not. Some want to act quickly while some others prefer to wait for the time being.
All the 116 countries of the G20/OECD Inclusive Framework on BEPS have agreed to continue to work together to seek a longer-term, durable solution to these pressing challenges.
But finding agreement among 116 countries is not something that happens all at once. Where there are important differences, consensus must be built in stages.
The work that is going on at the G7 on tax is vital to finding agreement in the wider group. If the G7 can find common ground, then this can be tested with the G20, ultimately with the Inclusive Framework.
But it has to start with agreement here. International cooperation on tax has proved to work in the area of BEPS and of exchange of information, and can also lead to a consensus-based solution in other key areas such as digital.
Another challenge that you have identified is financial crimes and illicit financial flows.
In response to your calls last year in Bari, we have advanced our work. To address the circumvention of the Common Reporting Standard for the automatic exchange of information. We released strong model mandatory disclosure rules that will reinforce the effectiveness of reporting obligations.
We also support countries strengthen their frameworks for effective inter-agency cooperation. We released a study which analyses and compares the domestic information sharing practices to prevent, detect, investigate and prosecute tax and financial crimes in over 50 countries.
Finally, we continue to engage with countries to build their capacity to mobilize their resources, through the launch of new Centres of the OECD Academy for Tax and Financial Crime Investigation in Kenya and possibly in Argentina.
You can continue to count on the OECD to support progress towards a more effective international tax system. Thank you