Thirty-one countries identified as tax havens by the OECD have agreed to co-operate with its principles of transparency and exchange of information, the OECD announced yesterday. It named seven "unco-operative" tax havens, three of which are in the Pacific area. For more information see the OECD's statement and list of unco-operative tax havens. For the New Zealand government's response see the Minister of Revenue's media statement.
The OECD's tax haven project is the work of its Committee on Fiscal Affairs, in which New Zealand members are actively involved. For further information on the project contact Robin Oliver, General Manager of the Policy Advice Division and member of the committee's advisory board (021 633-748), or Carmel Peters (027 221-9631).
Hon Dr Michael Cullen
Minister of Revenue
Tax Haven Co-Operation Welcomed
Revenue Minister Michael Cullen today welcomed news that 31 of the 38 jurisdictions identified as tax havens have agreed to introduce transparent tax systems and exchange tax information within the OECD by 2005.
"Included among the 31 are three Pacific Island countries - the Cook Islands, Niue and Samoa. It is a big step given their limited resources and the government congratulates them on it," Dr Cullen said.
He said access to the data would make it harder for New Zealanders to use bank rules and secrecy rules to hide their tax affairs from Inland Revenue.