First (limited) coverage of G20 tax outcomes in tax haven press

So far, coverage of the G20 in secrecy jurisdictions has been limited, mostly reproducing material from international news agencies with a strong focus on Syria. A small sample follows; hopefully there will be more tax haven reactions to the G20 during the week.

The Swiss news agency SDA notes that top economies agreed to limit tax evasion by multinationals, and that automatic information exchange will start in 2015. It also mentions that multinationals supported the action plan but that there was no consensus on concrete measures. The SDA’s angle has been picked up in Liechtenstein and Austria, again without making the link to any national-level implications.

A column in the Swiss Neue Zürcher Zeitung titled Rules of the Game instead of World Government takes a “competition is good” route, ignoring the need for international cooperation when it comes to taxation and financial regulation. Sample quotes:

“Although national policies have a certain level of global consequences, national economic policy should rightfully be the responsibility of national state structures”

“The G20 is not a global government and should not try to be…it should establish a few, clear rules for the global economy and open, free markets will lead to more jobs and growth. Everything else will be taken care of by the competition between jurisdictions”

The column also mentions in passing that the OECD is working on new rules for taxation of multinationals, saying that “Switzerland should be interested in this”. (Note: original sources in German).

Finally, a blogpost by Jersey Finance CEO Geoff Cook titled G20 – A Chorus of disapproval includes the statement

“Changing cross border rules will see winners and losers. There is no reason to assume the tax pie gets bigger…”

which is just plain wrong: if it helps to reduce harmful competition on tax between jurisdictions, an internationally coordinated crackdown on evasion could by definition increase the size of the global tax pie.

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