News Column

OECD Promises to Stop Tax Evasion

July 19, 2013

The world's advanced economies will soon band together to root out tax evasion by multinational companies the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) said Friday.

A new plan prepared by the organization introduces the most fundamental reforms in the field since the 1920s, OECD Secretary General Angel Gurria told reporters in Moscow. It "marks a turning point in the history of international tax cooperation," he said.

Gurria said that the plan aims to fill gaps exploited by multinational corporations to artificially reduce tax payments.

He pointed to the recent examples of Google, Apple and Amazon - all of which have recently landed in hot water for their tax procedures and all of which sent representatives to discuss the issue with leaders of the eight biggest economies at last month's G8 summit in Northern Ireland.

The plan was produced at the request of the Group of 20 (G20) industrial countries, whose finance ministers and central bankers are currently meeting in the Russian capital.

At a joint press conference with Gurria, the ministers from Germany, France, Britain and Russia all voiced support for the plan and said they expect that it will be adopted by G20 leaders at their summit in St Petersburg in September.

Russia, which is not an OECD member, currently holds the G20 presidency.

On the eve of the two-day meeting in Moscow, the G20's Financial Stability Board (FSB) announced that it has drawn up policy measures that will require major insurers to bolster their capital levels to protect themselves against failure.

The Switzerland-based FSB identified nine insurance companies as systemically important: Britain's Aviva and Prudential, China's Ping An, France's Axa, Germany's Allianz, Italy's Generali and US insurances AIG, MetLife and Prudential Financial.

The ministers were also expected to talk about how to improve banking regulations and to negotiate fiscal targets to reduce debts.

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Source: Copyright 2013 dpa Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH. Distributed by MCT Information Services

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