Cyprus, 3 Others Fail Tax Test, India Compliant
A worldwide crackdown on illicit funds has left just four jurisdictions — Cyprus, Luxembourg, Seychelles and British Virgin Islands — non-compliant with global tax laws, while India has emerged as ‘fully compliant’.
On the other hand, Mauritius has been found to be ‘largely compliant’, while Switzerland is yet to be rated on this scale as the country has just signed a global convention on automatic exchange of information on tax issues.
In India, Switzerland has been widely perceived as one of favoured safe havens for alleged black money, while Mauritius in recent years has also come out to be known as a major hub for flow of untaxed funds.
According to the latest list compiled by Paris-based OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development), a total of 18 jurisdictions are rated ‘Compliant’, 26 are rated ‘Largely Compliant’, 2 jurisdictions are ‘Partially Compliant’ and four jurisdictions are ‘Non-Compliant’.
Switzerland and 13 other additional jurisdictions have not been given compliance ratings, pending further improvements to their legal and regulatory frameworks for exchange of information in tax matters, OECD said.
Besides India, other jurisdictions that are ‘compliant’ include Australia, Belgium, China, Finland, France, Isle of Man, South Africa and Spain.
Meanwhile, Turkey and Austria have been found to be partially compliant with the framework.
As part of crackdown on blackmoney menace, the Global Forum under the aegis of OECD carries out regular review of jurisdictions to address the risks posed by tax havens.
The Forum, that brings together 121 countries and jurisdictions, including India, works through peer review process.
In the first phase, a jurisdiction’s legal and regulatory framework for exchange of information in tax matters is reviewed. Later, in the second phase, the application of this framework is looked into.
So far, the Forum has completed 124 peer reviews.
Economic Times, New Delhi, 25-11-2013