OECD countries acknowledge that taxes must play a role in the process of fiscal consolidation as they battle unprecedented budget deficits. In 2010, the majority of OECD governments have stabilised their tax to GDP, with the average ratio moving up slightly from 33.8% in 2009 to 33.9% in 2010.
Tax Transparency 2011: Report on Progress, a report prepared by the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes, was delivered to the G20 in Cannes and is now available to journalists.&
"Tax co-operation and compliance are of crucial importance for all countries and citizens - and not only in times of a tight fiscal and budgetary environment,” said OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría from the Cannes G20 Summit.
“Governments have signed more than 700 agreements to exchange tax information. These agreements have already yielded €14 billion in additional revenues, to 20 countries, from more than 100 000 tax payers who had hidden assets offshore.”
High unemployment rates, in the wake of the financial and economic crisis, have governments scrambling to create jobs. A new OECD report suggests that well-targeted tax reforms can encourage employers to hire more people and the jobless to look for employment.
Furthering efforts to fight against international tax evasion and bank secrecy, members of the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes have issued 12 new peer review reports.
The economic crisis means global corporate losses have increased significantly. Though most of these claims are justified, some corporations use ‘aggressive tax planning’ to avoid taxes. Governments are working together to detect and deter these undue tax advantages.
Many governments are facing historic high levels of deficit and debt. Public spending has risen and they are taking in less money as tax revenues fall. Governments are attempting to consolidate their budgets, looking for the appropriate balance between expenditure cuts and revenue increases.
Tax revenues fell in cash terms during 2009 in most OECD countries, driven downward by declining economic activity and tax cuts aimed at cushioning the effects of the recession that followed the financial crisis.
Transnational bribery enforcement under the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) has increased significantly since the last OECD evaluation of the implementation of the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention by the United States, according to a new OECD report.