Seychelles joins harmful tax battle

OECD Observer

The Seychelles has joined OECD member countries and eight non-member jurisdictions pledging to eliminate harmful tax practices by the end of 2005, ensuring that it will not figure on a list of non-cooperative tax havens to be issued at the end of July this year.

The Seychelles was among 35 countries identified by the OECD in June 2000 as meeting the technical criteria for being tax havens and is the ninth to pledge to eliminate its harmful tax practices. The other eight are Bermuda, the Cayman Islands, Cyprus, the Isle of Man, Malta, Mauritius, the Netherlands Antilles and San Marino.

The OECD is also pursuing its dialogue with other jurisdictions interested in co-operating to address the issues raised by harmful tax practices. The OECD's secretary-general, Donald Johnston, reminded participants in an OECD-Commonwealth joint working group in early March that the fight against harmful tax practices aims to ensure fairness and transparency and to get at the taxpayers that "cheat".

The joint working group was set up in January after high-level consultations in Barbados. It aims to find ways to turn the principles of transparency, non-discrimination and the effective exchange of information into commitments by participating countries and jurisdictions.

Harmful tax practices were also on the agenda at a meeting of ministers and senior policy makers from the OECD and the Pacific Island Forum in Tokyo in February.

©OECD Observer No 225, March 2001 

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