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Monday, August 9, 2010

The OECD Initiative on Tax Havens

James K. Jackson
Specialist in International Trade and Finance

Since the 1990s, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), under the direction of its member countries, has spearheaded an international agreement to outlaw crimes of bribery, and it continues to coordinate efforts aimed at reducing the occurrence of money laundering, corruption, and tax havens. Also, the OECD is a pivotal player in promoting corporate codes of conduct that attempt to develop a set of standards for multinational firms that can be applied across national borders. The OECD's work on tax havens, which initially focused on improving transparency and exchange of information for tax purposes, has evolved into a global initiative to implement standards in these areas and is carried out through the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes, which has more than 90 member countries/jurisdictions. On May 4, 2009, President Obama outlined his Administration's policy to "crack down on illegal tax evasion" and to close loopholes. In the 111th Congress, companion legislation was introduced in the House (H.R. 1265) and the Senate (S. 506) to restrict the use of tax havens. Some estimates indicate that tax havens cost the United States $100 billion each year in lost tax revenues (The Christian Science Monitor, Tax Havens in U.S. Cross Hairs, by David R. Francis, June 9, 2008).

Date of Report: July 29, 2010
Number of Pages: 17
Order Number: R40114
Price: $29.95

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