A Paradigm Shift – Seeking Transparency in Global Tax Law

After an era of banking secrecy defined by unreported offshore accounts and abusive transactions, a tangible shift in policy is rapidly taking shape. Spearheaded by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and supported by the U.S. Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), nations and international financial centers alike are being left with little choice but to join the tide of tax transparency, as new international standards and agreements are forged.

Leading the charge is the OECD with its Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes. The Global Forum, in which 120 countries are participating, has extracted a commitment from all involved to exchange bank information upon request in a bid to end bank secrecy. Pursuant to this commitment, over 900 bilateral agreements have been signed, and the OECD has acknowledged its intent to push for the implementation of automatic information exchange. Such cooperation between nations is fundamental to effectively combating tax evasion and rolling back the secrecy that has pervaded international finance for too long…

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