Arab Today, arab today 80 countries join fight to end banking secrecy
Last Updated : GMT 18:01:58
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today

80 countries join fight to end banking secrecy

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today 80 countries join fight to end banking secrecy

Participants of the Berlin Tax Conference
Berlin - AFP

 More than 80 countries signed up to a deal that could help end banking secrecy Wednesday in what the sponsors hope will be a major step in the global battle against tax evasion and fraud.
A total 51 countries signed up to the Multilateral Competent Authority Agreement under which their national tax authorities will exchange information automatically from September 2017.
And more than 30 other countries said they would sign up a year later in 2018.
Among the first round of signatories or "early adopters" were EU countries as well as previously staunch proponents of banking secrecy such as Liechtenstein and tax havens like the Cayman or Virgin Islands.
Others, such as Austria and Switzerland, the Bahamas and the United Arab Emirates, will follow in 2018.
The signings in Berlin crowned two days of talks by the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes, hosted by German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble.
The aim is for every country to be kept fully informed about the offshore holdings of its citizens.
Tax evasion is a "scourge across the world," British finance minister George Osborne told a joint news conference with his colleagues from Spain, Italy, France and Germany.
He said the signing of the deal was a "key moment" in worldwide efforts to stamp out tax evasion.
It will "reduce the places that tax evaders can hide their money," he said, while adding that the forum's work was "not finished".
French minister Michel Sapin said it was "intolerable" that taxpayers should have to feel that some people were somehow exempt and could dodge taxes.
Economist Gabriel Zucman, a specialist in fiscal fraud, has calculated that about 5.8 trillion euros ($7.4 trillion) is stashed away in tax havens, depriving authorities all over the world of around 130 billion euros in revenue each year.
- US Act against evasion -
The international movement to end banking secrecy has gained new momentum recently with the enactment in the United States of its 2010 Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act or FATCA.
The law obliges foreign banks to report to the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) on the offshore holdings of US clients in excess of 50,000 euros.
The move prompted five European countries -- Britain, France, Germany, Italy and Spain -- to call for a generalised automatic exchange of information in 2011.
Following months of talks, amid fierce resistance in countries such as Luxembourg and Austria where banks continue to uphold banking secrecy, the EU finally came up with an accord two weeks ago.
"The more countries sign up, the more difficult it will be for others to attract investment," said the OECD's director for tax policy and administration, Pascal Saint-Amans.
However, a number of financial centres remained a "source of concern", he said.
Panama, for example, still has not set a concrete date for its exchange of information, and Singapore has not joined the process.
Saint-Amans said the OECD would compile a list of countries that do not automatically exchange information, a measure that could act as a disincentive for investment funds and international organisations looking to invest in those countries.
- Banking secrecy lives on -
But experts in fiscal fraud, such as Andres Knobel of Tax Justice Network, believe such a "blacklist" would prove a rather feeble deterrent.
FATCA puts the thumbscrews on the banks themselves, retaining 30 percent of their revenues in the United States if they do not disclose the information, he noted.
The deal signed in Berlin was therefore "an important first step (but) will not definitively bury banking secrecy," he argued.
Tax Justice Network also identified a number of potential shortcomings in the OECD deal.
In order to exchange information in 2017, the banks will collect the data from 2016 on accounts holding more than $250,000. The delay will be sufficient for tax evaders to carve up their assets and place them into multiple accounts.
Countries will also be able to decide on a case-by-case basis which information will be automatically exchanged.
Switzerland, for example, has said it will hand over information only to countries which are important for Swiss industry. Thus, the holdings of wealthy citizens from poor countries will not come under scrutiny.
Tax evaders could also hide behind "smokescreen" companies or foundations in certain cases where banks are not always obliged to reveal the identity of the account holder.

Name *

E-mail *

Comment Title*

Comment *

: Characters Left

Mandatory *

Terms of use

Publishing Terms: Not to offend the author, or to persons or sanctities or attacking religions or divine self. And stay away from sectarian and racial incitement and insults.

I agree with the Terms of Use

Security Code*

Arab Today, arab today 80 countries join fight to end banking secrecy Arab Today, arab today 80 countries join fight to end banking secrecy

 



Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today Nohan Seyam designs beautiful accessories

GMT 20:02 2017 Tuesday ,21 February

Nohan Seyam designs beautiful accessories
Arab Today, arab today Tourism shows signs of recovery

GMT 09:59 2017 Monday ,20 February

Tourism shows signs of recovery
Arab Today, arab today Sarah Belamesh designs antiques of "ceramic"

GMT 19:45 2017 Monday ,20 February

Sarah Belamesh designs antiques of "ceramic"
Arab Today, arab today Top Yemen commander killed

GMT 09:55 2017 Wednesday ,22 February

Top Yemen commander killed
Arab Today, arab today Media host Mona Iraqi stresses her show's success

GMT 15:32 2017 Wednesday ,22 February

Media host Mona Iraqi stresses her show's success

GMT 20:59 2017 Tuesday ,21 February

Economy good, but homes in German cities overpriced

GMT 05:29 2017 Tuesday ,21 February

Sovereign funds pulled $38bn from markets in 2016

GMT 05:15 2017 Tuesday ,21 February

Gold firms as markets await Trump tax plans

GMT 04:58 2017 Tuesday ,21 February

EU, IMF in ‘common position’ on Greece crisis

GMT 14:57 2017 Monday ,20 February

A giant initial public offering on track

GMT 14:50 2017 Monday ,20 February

Energy Market Research
View News in Arabic - Business: نفط وبتروكيماويات
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today To hold social dialogue over secondary school

GMT 07:43 2017 Wednesday ,22 February

To hold social dialogue over secondary school
Arab Today, arab today 63-Year-Old Woman Delivers Baby

GMT 12:35 2017 Tuesday ,21 February

63-Year-Old Woman Delivers Baby
Arab Today, arab today Milan laughs while Rome cries

GMT 10:28 2017 Wednesday ,22 February

Milan laughs while Rome cries
Arab Today, arab today Pluto's unruly moons

GMT 06:31 2015 Thursday ,04 June

Pluto's unruly moons
Arab Today, arab today Nissan enhances sales in most markets

GMT 14:08 2017 Monday ,20 February

Nissan enhances sales in most markets
Arab Today, arab today Competes Sweden and Germans by S90

GMT 22:36 2017 Thursday ,16 February

Competes Sweden and Germans by S90
Arab Today, arab today Janat pleased for issuing 'Good Morning'

GMT 06:41 2017 Monday ,20 February

Janat pleased for issuing 'Good Morning'
Arab Today, arab today Small ponds have outsized impact

GMT 15:53 2017 Tuesday ,21 February

Small ponds have outsized impact

GMT 06:34 2017 Sunday ,19 February

Ahmed Fahmy stresses he did not ignore singing

GMT 06:50 2017 Wednesday ,15 February

Tragic fluctuations of Bakhtiari's life revealed

GMT 12:22 2017 Monday ,20 February

Kanye West puts hijab-wearing model

GMT 14:06 2017 Friday ,17 February

London to tax old cars

GMT 23:29 2017 Thursday ,16 February

Home built on sand castles-style costs $8m

GMT 05:15 2017 Tuesday ,21 February

Omega 3 can reduce asthma cases

GMT 19:16 2017 Friday ,17 February

Aziz House ready to host the tourists

GMT 13:12 2015 Saturday ,09 May

Sheikh Sultan opens Sharjah Centre

GMT 12:39 2017 Monday ,20 February

newest smartphone another winner for Huawei

GMT 16:08 2017 Wednesday ,15 February

Shawsh reveals her collection "Jewelry of dreams"
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
 
 Arab Today Facebook,arab today facebook  Arab Today Twitter,arab today twitter Arab Today Rss,arab today rss  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday
بناية النخيل - رأس النبع _ خلف السفارة الفرنسية _بيروت - لبنان
arabstoday, Arabstoday, Arabstoday