According to the Paris-based Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, just one country fails to comply with international transparency standards, which Oxfam strongly disputes.
Trinidad and Tobago is the only tax haven identified by the OECD as failing to comply with international transparency standards, despite extremely weak commitments by the US, the Bahamas and other countries. Also escaping blacklisting were the Netherlands, Bermuda, Mauritius and Singapore, among others, all of which featured on an Oxfam list of the worst corporate tax havens published last year.
The OECD blacklist was due to be released during the G20 Heads of State Summit in Germany in July but instead was released overnight on June 29th.
In response, Oxfam International’s tax policy advisor, Esmé Berkout, said:
“The OECD has exposed itself as opaque in its search for tax transparency. Its approach means the blacklist of ‘uncooperative tax havens’ is likely to remain near empty and will do little to prevent corporate tax dodging.
“The way the OECD released their report calls into question the organisations commitment to cracking down on tax havens and could set a bad precedent when it comes to countries reporting their tax activities.
“Tax havens are poaching the rightful tax revenue of other countries, including some of the world’s poorest nations. Yet for many countries, being a tax haven has not delivered prosperity.
“With the OECD failing to get serious on an approach against tax havens, it is vital the EU continues its work towards a more comprehensive list of tax havens that is not just based on secrecy, but also on harmful tax practices, including extremely low tax rates.”