30/10/2007 - The Isle of Man has signed bilateral agreements with seven Nordic economies -- Denmark, the Faroe Islands, Finland, Greenland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden -- on exchange of information for tax purposes, marking a significant step forward in international efforts to implement standards of transparency and exchange of information in tax matters developed by OECD’s Global Forum on Taxation.
The latest agreements bring to nine the number of such agreements entered into by the Isle of Man, thus enhancing its international standing and strengthening its integration into the international financial system. The Isle of Man has played a leading role in the OECD’s initiative to improve transparency and exchange of information in tax matters. In December 2000, it committed to work with OECD member countries to further develop and implement these principles. It was one of 11 jurisdictions that worked with OECD countries to develop the Model Agreement on Exchange of Information in Tax Mat Matters, on which the bilateral agreements with the Nordic economies are based.
In their communiqué announcing the agreements, the Nordic economies said they look forward to working with the Isle of Man in developing a long-term economic and political relationship based on transparency and cooperation.
Paolo Ciocca, Chair of the OECD’s Committee on Fiscal Affairs, welcomed the agreements as a breakthrough in OECD’s efforts to improve transparency and exchange of information for tax purposes. “The agreements show that the Isle of Man is forging ahead in implementing its commitment to international standards,” Mr. Ciocca said. “We hope that this example will encourage other economies that have committed to these standards but that have been slow to implement them to move forward quickly. I would also like to commend the Isle of Man and the Nordic economies for the innovative multilateral approach they have taken to their negotiations. This has been very effective in facilitating the conclusion of seven agreements in a relatively short period of time.”
OECD’s work in this area is designed to enable countries to fully and fairly enforce their tax laws (see progress reports issued in 2000, 2001, 2004 and 2006). A total of 35 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 – 2007 Assessment by the Global Forum on Taxation”, shows that over the last year many jurisdictions have made progress in implementing the high standards of transparency and exchange of information for tax purposes. Current efforts are aimed at encouraging all countries to work towards the achievement of a global level playing by implementing these standards.
For further information journalists are invited to contact in the Isle of Man, Malcolm Couch (tel + 44 1624 685 350) for the Nordic economies, Per-Olav Gjesti (tel + 47-22 24 44 72) or Torsten Fensby (tel: +33 6 78 25 12 89) or in France, the OECD’s Media Division (tel: + 33 1 452 4 97 00).