G20 calls for greater tax transparency

Added 5th September 2016

The leaders of the G20 nations have resolved to make greater efforts in implementing international transparency standards for the purposes of tackling corruption, tax evasion, terrorist financing, and money laundering.

G20 calls for greater tax transparency

At the end of their latest meeting, which wrapped up in the eastern Chinese city of Hangzhou on Monday, the G20 leaders committed to work for a "fair and modern international tax system", in particular by combatting tax avoidance.

In the final communiqué, the leaders said G20 countries would implement a package of measures on Base Erosion and Profits Shifting (BEPS) to ensure greater tax transparency.

The communiqué also called on all countries to "commit without delay to implementing the standard of automatic exchange of information by 2018", and it endorsed the OECD’s current proposals on the "criteria to identify non-cooperative jurisdictions with respect to tax transparency". 

Ambition boost

The Australian prime minister Malcolm Turnbull told reporters after the summit that he hoped the meeting had lifted the G20’s ambition "to do more to put an end to illicit finance flows and to protect and secure budget revenue streams".

Turnbull said stamping out corruption, tax evasion and erosion of tax bases was not only about ensuring the financial and economic systems work but restoring public trust.

Taking aim at "non-compliant jurisdictions" where tax loopholes are rampant and companies taking advantage of them, he said they should be in no doubt of the G20's resolve for reform.

Following the publication of the G20 communiqué, Neil Smith, financial secretary for the Government of the British Virgin Islands said his nation had been assessed as largely compliant with OECD requirements as well as being one of the first adopters of the Common Reporting Standard.  

“We have always said that the development of a fair and modern international tax system that meets the demands of a global economy and provides a level playing field is crucial.

"To this end, last week we announced a private sector consultation on the issue of country by country reporting to ensure that as various international initiatives progress, the territory is well placed to be an engaged and constructive participant to discussions,” Smith said. 

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Richard Hubbard

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Richard Hubbard is the group editor at Last Word. He is responsible for the editorial content of International Adviser, Portfolio Adviser, Expert Investor and Fund Selector Asia. Richard previously worked for Thomson Reuters and has covered the financial services industry and investment themes from its offices in London, Singapore, Hong Kong and New York. Richard started his career at the Australian Financial Review in Sydney.

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