Tax administration

"Paradise Papers" leaks: Statement by Hans Christian Holte, Chair of the OECD's Forum on Tax Administration

 

09/11/2017 - The Forum on Tax Administration’s Joint International Task Force on Shared Intelligence and Cooperation (JITSIC)* is already working collaboratively on the issues raised by the so-called “Paradise Papers” leaks.  This follows the model successfully adopted for the Panama Papers leaks.

 

Hans Christian Holte, Director General of the Norwegian Tax Administration and the new Chair of the Forum on Tax Administration, speaking at the Tax and Crime Forum 2017 in London said: “The world has turned strongly against tax evasion and aggressive tax planning. Thanks to ground-breaking international agreements, it is no longer possible to hide assets by simply placing them in offshore accounts or structures. Banking secrecy has been quickly disappearing and cooperation between tax administrations is rapidly improving. The FTA’s Joint International Task Force on Shared Intelligence and Cooperation was well prepared for this leak."

 

The tools available to tax administrations to tackle tax evasion and aggressive tax avoidance have undergone a step-change in recent years.  Through the coordinated work of the OECD, G20, the Forum on Tax Administration and the Global Forum on Tax Transparency:

  • Tax administrations can now request and receive information from over 100 jurisdictions, including all financial centres, on the financial accounts of individuals, trusts and companies and their beneficial owners;
  • From this September, thanks to the rapid agreement and implementation of the OECD Common Reporting Standard (CRS), information on the offshore financial accounts of non-residents is being automatically reported to their jurisdiction of residence. This huge set of information will include details on the ownership of companies, trusts and other similar structures. Already almost 50 jurisdictions have begun to exchange information under the CRS. A similar number are due to begin automatic exchange next September covering all financial centres; 
  • In addition to extensive bilateral and multilateral exchange, the FTA’s JITSIC network provides an effective platform to its nearly 40 members to  collaborate directly on individual cases, as well as sharing their experience, resources  and expertise.  This direct, real-time collaboration has proved itself very effective following the Panama Papers leaks. 

 

Holte further said: "Much of the recent leaks, as was the case with the Panama Papers, seems to involve legacy issues prior to the huge change in tax transparency, in particular the automatic exchange of information under the Common Reporting Standard. That is already having significant impacts." As reported by the OECD to the G20, disclosure initiatives previously taken in advance of the introduction of the CRS have already identified close to EUR 85 billion in additional revenue. 

 

For further information, contact Pascal Saint-Amans, Director of the OECD Centre for Tax Policy and Administration (+33 6 2630 4923), or Achim Pross, Head of the International Co-operation and Tax Administration Division (+33 6 2163 2767).


* Notes:  The OECD’s Forum on Tax Administration (FTA) comprises 50 advanced and emerging tax administrations, and includes all OECD countries and most of the G20. The aim of the FTA is to improve taxpayer services and tax compliance by helping tax administrations increase the efficiency, effectiveness and fairness of tax administration and reduce the costs of compliance.  The FTA also comprises a number of specialist networks, including the Joint International Task Force on Shared Intelligence and Cooperation (JITSIC).  JITSIC, which has 37 members and is led by Chris Jordan, Commissioner of the Australian Tax Office, is a proven network of tax administrations, committed to sharing intelligence and working together to tackle common risks. 

 

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