21/08/2009 - Representatives of almost 100 governments have been invited to meet in Los Cabos, Mexico, on 1-2 September to decide next steps in a global campaign to improve transparency and exchange of banking and ownership information for tax purposes.
NOTE: The meeting was transferred to Mexico City because of the threat of severe damage posed by Hurricane Jimena (details here).
Under the chairmanship of Mexican Finance Minister Agustín Carstens and with the participation of OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría, participants will discuss proposals for a new governance structure and new working methods for the OECD’s Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information.
Central to their discussions will be plans for establishing a robust peer review mechanism designed to ensure full implementation of international standards developed at the OECD and now endorsed almost universally. Read the Secretary-General's speech in full.
In recent months, thanks to pressure from the G20 to step up the drive against tax evasion, dozens of countries and territories have taken steps to conform to these standards. Bilateral treaties have been revised and numerous new Tax Information Exchange Agreements have been signed or are under negotiation. The OECD has been tracking these developments in a Progress Report first issued on 2 April 2009 and regularly updated since then.
For individuals, banks and companies, the standards mean an obligation to keep reliable books and records and provide access to information about beneficial ownership and banking transactions. Once implemented, they will enable tax authorities to track down tax evaders by obtaining information through cooperation with other governments.
The Global Forum, which will oversee this process, was set up in 2000 to provide a global and inclusive forum for co-operation on issues of transparency and information exchange and currently groups more than 80 countries and jurisdictions. New participants are being invited to join, from both the developed and the developing world.
A news conference will be held at the end of the meeting, at 1.30 p.m. local time on Wednesday 2 September at the Fiesta Americana Reforma Hotel in Mexico City (address: Reforma 80, Col Juarez 06600 Mexico, D.F., tel. +52 55 51 40 41 00). To confirm their attendance at the press conference, or to obtain further information, journalists are invited to contact firstname.lastname@example.org, tel +52 55 1812 9518.
For further details about the meeting in Mexico, please visit www.oecd.org/tax/globalforum/loscabos.
For further information about the OECD’s work on tax evasion, please visit www.oecd.org/tax/evasion.
OECD assessment shows bank secrecy as a shield for tax evaders coming to an end