Gibraltar is said to be in the final stages of signing up to the Organisation for Economic Co-operat...
Gibraltar is said to be in the final stages of signing up to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development's programme to block and eliminate harmful tax practices, following an announcement by the Channel Islands this morning they will comply with the requirement.
Gibraltar, Guernsey and Jersey had all been placed on the preliminary list of 35 offshore centres in June 2000 which would be branded as tax havens and face tough sanctions from international governments, including the UK, if they did not meet the OECD's demands to open information flow between tax officials and change the technical criteria which lists them as adopting harmful tax practices.
Both Jersey and Guernsey both completed the deal to improve the transparency of their tax regimes and information exchange this morning, just one day before the OECD's February 28th deadline.
Officials in the Channel Islands now have until 31st December, 2005 to establish an effective exchange of information to tax centres in cases where investors are thought to be evading tax, or where civil cases can strongly argue information should be handed over.
Sources within the Gibraltar Financial Services Commission say the deadline is thought to be much more flexible than the February 28th cut-off, but ministers and officials are now drawing up the relevant letters agreeing to meet the OECD's requirement for information exchange and transparency.
All of the major UK-based centres - Isle of Man, Jersey, Guernsey and Gibraltar - are now thought to have signed up.
However, comments made by such offshore regions in the past centred on the argument that the process is an attempt to remove the competitive edge of major banking and investment centres, even though Luxembourg and Switzerland have refused to recognize the process and will therefore not be penalized.
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