Exchange of information

A progress report on OECD work on tax havens


OECD work on tax havens – a progress report
Media briefing, Tuesday 19 January

Taking forward the G20 Tax Initiative


Since the April 2009 G20 London Summit, almost 300 tax agreements have been signed to meet OECD standards on tax transparency and effective exchange of information.  All OECD and G20 countries are committed to these standards.


New legislation in major financial centres such as Hong Kong and Singapore enables them to implement the standards as well.  Of the more than 40 offshore financial centres identified as tax havens in 2000 all but six now have one or more agreements which meet the standards (see progress report).

The focus of the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information is now shifting - from commitments and agreements to achieving an effective implementation of the standards.


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Jeffrey Owens, Head of the OECD’s Tax Centre and Pascal Saint-Amans, Head of the Global Forum Secretariat, briefed journalists on :
• The increase in the number of agreements signed and their quality and relevance.
• The impact on tax compliance around the world
• Next steps, including the timing and outcomes of peer reviews and the role of developing countries in the fight against tax havens.


The briefing set the background for a series of meetings which will deal with these issues. On 25th January the OECD will launch its Fiscal Initiative for Latin America.  On 26th and 27th January the OECD’s Committee on Fiscal Affairs will review progress in the project.  On 28th January there will be the Global Forum on Development which will explore how developing countries can benefit from the more transparent environment.


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