Tax authorities accessed 84 million offshore accounts in 2019: OECD

Topics OECD | tax | OECD countries Tax

Since the G20 declared an end to bank secrecy in 2009, the international community has continued to make strides in the fight against offshore tax evasion
Around 100 countries carried out automatic exchange of information in 2019, enabling their tax authorities to obtain data on 84 million financial accounts held offshore by their residents, covering total assets of 10 trillion euros, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) said. 

This represents a significant increase over 2018, when information on 47 million financial accounts was exchanged, totaling 5 trillion euros. 

The growth stems from an increase in the number of jurisdictions receiving information as well as a wider scope of information exchanged, OECD said. 
The Common Reporting Standard — developed in 2014 — requires countries and jurisdictions to exchange information on financial accounts of non-residents obtained from their financial institutions annually, reducing the possibility of offshore tax evasion. 


Many developing countries have joined the process and more are expected to follow suit in the coming years.

“Automatic exchange of information is a game changer,” OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría said. “This system of multilateral exchange created by the OECD and managed by the Global Forum is providing countries around the world, including many developing countries, with a wealth of new information, empowering their tax administrations to ensure that offshore accounts are being properly declared.”

“Countries are going to raise much needed revenue, especially critical now in light of the current Covid-19 crisis, while moving closer to a world where there is nowhere left to hide,” he added.

Since the Group of 20 (G20) countries declared an end to bank secrecy in 2009, the international community has continued to make strides in the fight against offshore tax evasion. 
Through the Global Forum — which brings together 161 countries and jurisdictions committed to OECD tax standards — countries have ramped up global co-operation, first through exchange of information on request and via automatic exchange since 2017, implemented through more than 6,000 bilateral relationships signed in 2019.

Wider exchange of information driven by the Global Forum was associated with a 24 per cent ($410 billion) reduction in foreign-owned bank deposits in international financial centres between 2008 and 2019.

Dear Reader,

Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.

We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

Business Standard is now on Telegram.
For insightful reports and views on business, markets, politics and other issues, subscribe to our official Telegram channel