Page last updated at 10:42 GMT, Tuesday, 7 April 2009 11:42 UK

OECD removes tax havens from list

Angel Gurria
OECD chief Angel Gurria said there were no countries left on the blacklist

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has removed all four countries from its blacklist of tax havens.

The blacklist published last week included Costa Rica, Malaysia, the Philippines and Uruguay.

OECD chief Angel Gurria said in Paris that all four countries had now agreed to adopt its regulations.

The list was a part of efforts agreed at the G20 summit to clamp down on non-cooperative tax havens.

G20 action

"I'm pleased to say that those four jurisdictions have now made a full commitment to exchange information to the OECD standards," Mr Gurria said.

As a result, none of the 84 countries and territories that the OECD monitors were on the blacklist any more, he added.

Last week, the G20 leaders agreed in London to take sanctions against tax havens, using the OECD list as its basis. In their communique, they agreed "to take action against non-cooperative jurisdictions, including tax havens".

Uruguay protested that it had been wrongly included on the OECD blacklist, and the OECD said it was happy the country had agreed to its tax transparency rules after listening to the South American nation's complaints.

The Philippines and Malaysia had also said they were talking to OECD to remove themselves from the list.

Separately, the US Treasury said it had begun negotiations with Switzerland to amend their 1996 bilateral income tax treaty.

Switzerland decided last month to ease banking secrecy and fully adopt OECD tax standards. The government agreed to begin negotiations with the US and Japan on tax co-operation.

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