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Tax-News.Com

London, 25th January 2001

Offshore Jurisdictions Warned In Advance
Of London OECD Task Force Meeting

by Jeremy Hetherington-Gore, Tax-News.com

     In preparation for the meeting of the OECD's Task Force Working Group on Harmful Tax Practices in London later this week, the Centre For Freedom and Prosperity has sent a 'Strategy Memo' to leaders of the low-tax jurisdictions to prepare them for the meeting.

     CFP President Andrew Quinlan and Chairman Dan Mitchell were instrumental in ensuring that the Task Force was set up in Barbados two weeks ago when the OECD held a multilateral meeting with Caribbean and Pacific jurisdictions included on its 'harmful tax competition' list. The OECD has made the best of a bad job, but is widely thought to have been faced off by the assembled jurisdictions.

     Membership of the Task Force includes thirteen representatives of a number of offshore jurisdictions, and the London meeting is intended to prepare a common position, or at least a statement of goals, in advance of the previously arranged successor meeting to the Barbados event, scheduled to be held in Tokyo later in the spring. 

     The CFP 'Strategy Memo' warns the jurisdictions that the OECD has probably not backed off its Memorandum of Understanding, issued as a prescriptive attempt to get the jurisdictions to agree to an acceptable platform in advance of the July 2001 deadline for re-issue of the blacklist, and that it is vital for the jurisdictions to stick together in demanding that the OECD should formally withdraw the Memorandum (which was found particularly offensive by many of them) before substantive negotiations begin.

     The Memo points out that with a new and, it is hoped, much less aggressively 'anti-offshore' administration in Washington, time is on the side of the jurisdictions. 

     Will the CFP be allowed into the London meetings? They must be hoping so, but after their experience in Barbados when OECD officials exerted pressure until they were excluded, it isn't very likely. By now the OECD probably thinks about the Terrible Twins Quinlan and Mitchell in the way that Philip of Spain viewed Sir Francis Drake and Walter Raleigh.

     The 'Strategy Memo' is at

     http://www.freedomandprosperity.org/memo01-22-01.pdf

 

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