The OECD has confirmed that representatives of almost 100 governments have been invited to meet in Los Cabos, Mexico, on 1-2 September. The agenda: to decide next steps in a global campaign to improve transparency and exchange of banking and ownership information for tax purposes.
A release from the OECD says that under the chairmanship of Mexican Finance Minister Agustín Carstens – and with the participation of OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría – delegates will discuss proposals for a new governance structure and new working methods for the OECD’s Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information.
Central to their discussions will be plans for establishing a robust peer review mechanism designed to ensure full implementation of international standards developed at the OECD and now endorsed almost universally. Dozens of countries and territories have taken steps to conform to these standards. Bilateral treaties have been revised and numerous new Tax Information Exchange Agreements have been signed or are under negotiation. The OECD has been tracking these developments in a Progress Report.
The OECD points out that for individuals, banks and companies, the standards mean an obligation to keep reliable books and records and provide access to information about beneficial ownership and banking transactions. Once implemented, they will enable tax authorities to track down tax evaders by obtaining information through cooperation with other governments.
The Global Forum, which will oversee this process, was set up in 2000 to provide a global and inclusive forum for co-operation on issues of transparency and information exchange and currently groups more than 80 countries and jurisdictions. New participants are being invited to join, from both the developed and the developing world.