Tax commissioners worldwide join hands to tackle evasion

June 4, 2009
1 min read

Tax authorities from around the world have agreed on a new co-operation plan to encourage compliance and to counter evasion and abusive avoidance, with special focus on wealthy individuals and offshore activities.

The pact comes at a time when governments, facing soaring budget deficits, seek to combat the global economic slump.

The co-operation pact was agreed at the fifth meeting of the OECD’s Forum on Tax Administration held in Paris recently.

The meeting brought together tax commissioners from 41 OECD and non-OECD countries.

The agreement is particularly designed to ensure that the super-wealthy pay their fair share of taxes.

High net worth individuals

At present, many rich individuals pay relatively little because they are able to exploit loopholes not available to the less well-off.

In a communiqué, the tax commissioners said they would focus on examining how revenue authorities, banks and wealthy individuals interact on tax issues to find ways to improve the collection of taxes due.

The meeting was chaired by Mr Pravin Gordhan, Finance Minister of South Africa.

In his statement at the meeting, Mr Gordhan said: “The world faces an unprecedented global financial and economic crisis. The challenges posed are both economic and social. Governments need to find sustainable ways to finance the cost of exiting the crisis.

To achieve this will require the engagement of all stakeholders: Governments, business and civil society.

Revenue bodies have a key role to play in helping governments to achieve sustainable revenues.

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