26/03/2009 - OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría welcomed an announcement by Monaco that it is prepared to enter into agreements for the exchange of information in all tax matters in accordance with international standards developed by the OECD and recognised by the United Nations.
In a letter to the OECD Secretary-General, the Principality of Monaco stated that it is prepared to expand the scope of an anti-fraud agreement that it is negotiating with the European Commission so that the agreement incorporates the OECD standards fully.
Monaco expressed the hope that this agreement can be finalised by the end of 2009, so as to allow it to exchange information in all tax matters with all European Union member states that are signatories to the agreement. In addition, Monaco announced that it is prepared to negotiate tax information exchange agreements with all countries that wish to do so, and in particular with those members of the G-20 that are not also members of the EU.
Welcoming the announcement, Mr. Gurría said: “The Principality of Monaco has made a very important step by recognising that in today’s financial world meeting international standards is no longer optional. Governments require it, customers require it, and competitors require it.”
He also encouraged a rapid implementation of this commitment, underlining that "moving to concrete results is the true test.”
Monaco was identified as a tax haven by the OECD in 2000 and included in an OECD list of unco-operative tax havens issued in 2002 after failing to join other financial centres in committing formally to take steps towards increased transparency and exchange of information.
In the last few weeks, a number of other jurisdictions have announced that they, too, are now ready to adopt the international standards. Commenting on these developments, Jeffrey Owens, Director of the OECD’s Centre for Tax Policy and Administration, said: “These announcements demonstrate that acceptance of the OECD principles of transparency and information exchange is no longer an issue.
The key now is to ensure rapid implementation, and the OECD will monitor progress very closely.”
=> For more information visit the OECD site on Tax Evasion.