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April 2, 2009    

G20 leaders agree tax haven blacklist

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by Peter Charalambous

The G20 leaders have come to an agreement to toughen up regulations within the financial markets today and have agreed to blacklist tax havens.

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) will be in charge of publishing this and within the documentation a scale of white, grey and black list havens.

This will be in order to reference and differentiate those who have signed up to OECD rules on information sharing from those who have signed but not applied the procedures, and those who have fully complied.

Since the outbreak of the global economic slowdown and recession in economically developed countries, there has been a focus on tax havens with both Gordon Brown and Barack Obama publicly agreeing that better enforcement is needed, especially in these testing times.

The OECD has said that it will be liaising with several financial centre’s including Switzerland.

There will be a focus on the standards of bank secrecy and tax fraud with a number of different countries, as well as talks of blacklists and possible sanctions for countries who are non-compliant.

There is still to be an agreement reached on the date of publication, although France were pushing for the G20 to act immediately.

UK Chancellor, Alistair Darling, said the participants of the G20 simply want to make sure people pay their fair share of taxes and to make sure, as far as reasonably practicable, that taxation was a fair process, with the possibility of further sanctions against tax havens if reform is not swift and just.

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