Harmful Tax Competition: An Emerging Global Issue

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Harmful Tax Competition: An Emerging Global Issue is a report issued by the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development.

In the report, the OECD groups countries into three categories: member country preferential regimes, tax havens, and non-member economies, and establishes criteria for identifying each.[1] Tax havens are characterized by having only nominal or no taxes, impeding the free exchange of information on taxpayers with other governments through administrative practices or laws, non-transparency, and a lack of substantial activities.[2] Harmful preferential regimes, whether in member or non-member countries, are identified by four main traits. Like tax havens, their legal or administrative systems hamper the exchange of information and create an absence of transparency, and have effectively low or no taxes. Finally, the regime may partially isolate itself from the taxpayers and bear little to none of the tax burden, a practice known as “ring-fencing.”[3]

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  1. ^ “More Information on the Harmful Tax practices Work,” OECD Centre for Tax Policy and Administration, OECD.org, 17 July 2007 <http://www.oecd.org/document/49/0,3343,en_2649_33745_33995569_1_1_1_1,00.html>.
  2. ^ Harmful Tax Competition: An Emerging Global Issue (Paris: OECD Publications, 1998) 22, OECD.org, 17 July 2007 < http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/33/1/1904184.pdf >.
  3. ^ Harmful Tax Competition: An Emerging Global Issue (Paris: OECD Publications, 1998) 26, OECD.org, 17 July 2007 < http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/33/1/1904184.pdf >.