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"Pandora Papers" leaks: Statement by Bob Hamilton, Chair of the Forum on Tax Administration and Chris Jordan, Chair of the FTA’s Joint International Task Force on Shared Intelligence and Collaboration

 

The Forum on Tax Administration and its Joint International Task Force on Shared Intelligence and Collaboration (JITSIC) are already working collaboratively in response to the recent "Pandora Papers" leaks. This follows the model successfully adopted for the Panama and Paradise Papers leaks.

 

14/10/2021 - The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) has recently released information relating to its review of data leaks referred to as the Pandora Papers. As a result of the strong partnerships established through its JITSIC Network, the OECD Forum on Tax Administration (FTA) is well positioned to enable a collaborative approach to identifying and addressing aggressive tax avoidance and tax evasion involving multiple jurisdictions once the data becomes available.

 

The FTA is dedicated to tax transparency and tax co-operation through the delivery of its collaborative work programme, and its members have access to a range of tools and platforms to help tackle offshore tax evasion and avoidance, including:

  • The FTA's JITSIC network, which provides an effective and well-established platform to its 42 members to cooperate directly on individual cases, as well as sharing their experience, resources and expertise. This direct and immediate collaboration proved to be very effective following the Panama and Paradise Papers leaks. JITSIC, like tax administrations more generally, operates under strict rules designed to protect the confidentiality of information and the confidence of taxpayers. As a consequence much of the work of JITSIC is not always visible to the public.
  • The OECD standard on the exchange of information on request, which provides a powerful framework for tax administrations to receive detailed information on taxpayers' offshore affairs from 163 jurisdictions.
  • The OECD Common Reporting Standard (CRS) under which there is automatic reporting of information between more than 100 jurisdictions on the offshore financial accounts of non-residents, to their jurisdiction of residence. Information on these financial accounts, as well as the requirements envisaged by the transparency and exchange of information on request standard, ensure greater transparency of ownership of companies, trusts, and other similar structures, the importance of which has been illustrated in the Pandora Papers.

 

As has been the case with previous leaks, JITSIC members will continue to work together to pool resources, share information and rapidly develop a more accurate picture of potential wrong doing in order to facilitate further investigations. While the information contained in such leaks can be of value in investigations, the inclusion of information about an individual or entity in a data leak does not automatically mean that there has been non-compliance.

 

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 53 advanced and emerging tax administrations, and includes all OECD and G20 countries. 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 Collaboration (JITSIC). JITSIC, which has 42 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.

 

Update 15/10/2021: JITSIC has been corrected to "Joint International Task Force on Shared Intelligence and Collaboration" (instead of "Co-operation").