Jersey, Netherlands and Nordic countries step up tax co-operation efforts


20/06/2007 - Jersey and the Netherlands signed a bilateral agreement to exchange information for tax purposes, patterned on the OECD Model Agreement for Exchange of Information in Tax Matters, while Nordic Finance Ministers announced progress towards tax information exchange agreements with Aruba, the Isle of Man, Jersey and the Netherlands Antilles.

The agreement between Jersey and the Netherlands follows a similar agreement signed by Jersey in 2002 with the United States. Jersey has played a constructive role in the OECD’s initiative to improve transparency and exchange of information for tax purposes. It was a key player in developing these principles and has taken a series of steps to implement them.

Jersey already has a good record of compliance with international standards and international co-operation in financial regulation and anti-money laundering. The agreement with the Netherlands and ongoing negotiations with other OECD countries show that it is also committed to effective international co-operation in the tax area, further enhancing its reputation as a financial centre.

Separately, in a communiqué issued on 19 June, finance ministers representing the Nordic economies -- Denmark, Faroe Islands, Finland, Greenland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden – announced plans to conclude a number of tax information exchange agreements within the next few years. In addition to negotiations under way with Aruba, the Isle of Man, Jersey and the Netherlands Antilles, they said they are looking forward to starting negotiations with Bermuda, the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands and Guernsey.

Most jurisdictions contacted by the Nordic economies have reacted positively to their request for such agreements. However, the Ministers noted that at some stage they may have to consider possible defensive measures against jurisdictions that do not co-operate in order not to disadvantage jurisdictions that participate in the global effort to combat international tax evasion.

The OECD’s work in this area is designed to enable countries to fully and fairly enforce their tax laws (see progress reports issued in 200020012004 and 2006). A total of 33 jurisdictions have committed to work with OECD countries under the auspices of the OECD’s Global Forum on Taxation to improve transparency and to establish effective information exchange for tax purposes. Many other countries and international organizations have also endorsed these principles.

A recent report, “Tax co-operation: Towards a Level Playing Field – 2006 Assessment by the Global Forum on Taxation”, indicates that most countries have made considerable progress in implementing the transparency and exchange of information standards that the Global Forum wishes to see achieved. Current efforts are aimed at encouraging all countries to work towards the achievement of a global level playing by implementing high standards of transparency and exchange of information for tax purposes.

For further information regarding the Jersey – Netherlands agreement, journalists are invited to contact: ; in the Netherlands Simone Boitelle (tel +31-70-342 8403); or the OECD’s Media Division (tel: + 33 1 4524 9700).  For further information on the Nordic Finance Ministers’ Communiqué, journalists should contact Per-Olav Gjesti (tel + 47-22 24 44 72) or Torsten Fensby (tel: +33 6 78 25 12 89).


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