The OECD Harmful Tax Practices Deadline Finds 23 Hold Outs and 10 Commitments

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Monday, April 1, 2002
Bruce Zagaris
On February 28, 2002, the final deadline set by the Organization of Economic Corporation and Development (OECD) for jurisdictions to make commitments to comply with the harmful tax practices policies arrived, 10 jurisdictions committed; 23 remained hold outs; and 2 were removed from the list. Despite the passage of the strict deadline, Nicholas Bray, OECD spokesman, reported the OECD had a number of additional proposed commitments it was examining. They would be announced once the OECD has accepted them, perhaps in the days or weeks to come. The OECD had extended the first deadline to November 30, 2001 after vociferous private and public diplomatic protests from the targeted jurisdictions and again until February 28, 2002, after the OECD experienced internal disputes between Spain and the United Kingdom over the status of Gibraltar. In their commitments Guernsey and Jersey proposed to improve their exchange of information, which they claim already meets the OECD requirements in criminal matters, including the possibility of exchanging it in civil tax matters through bilateral agreements. Geurnsey and Jersey committed to better transparency in the way of collection better information on beneficial ownership for legal entities, including managers of collective investment funds and trustees and beneficiaries of entities operating in the two jurisdictions, including resident and non resident enterprises, including those incorporated outside but carrying out activities in the respective jurisdiction. The OECD has removed Guernsey and Jersey from the list of non cooperative jurisdictions and will permit them to participate in an OECD-sponsored Global Forum on Taxation.