Nine countries found wanting on tax transparency

| 27/10/2011

(Reuters): Nine tax jurisdictions have not made sufficient headway on sharing tax information with foreign authorities, officials at an international tax forum in Paris, Wednesday said. Since Group of 20 countries agreed at a 2009 summit in London to crack down on tax havens, some 700 agreements to share tax information with foreign authorities have been signed by countries and territories that previously refused to do so.However, Antigua and Barbuda, Botswana, Barbados, Brunei, Panama, Seychelles, Trinidad and Tobago, Uruguay and Vanuatu were still found wanting in their progress to open up their tax systems to foreign authorities.

Brunei, Uruguay and Vanuatu were the most recent to be added to the list in the latest round of peer reviews by countries and territories belonging to the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of information for Tax Purposes, which has 105 members.

Officials said the lack of progress was not necessarily a sign of reluctance towards sharing tax information, but was in many cases due to technical and legislative obstacles.

"All of us … have areas in which we can improve and the whole idea of the process is to encourage the adoption of international standards," the forum's chairman, Mike Rawstron, told a news conference.

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