Major (former?) tax havens featured in Germany’s largest newspaper

It’s fair to say the tax transparency agenda has come a long way. From yesterday’s BILD, Germany’s best selling tabloid with the sixth largest circulation worldwide, an article with the headline:   “Three tax abusing states promise: From now on we are no longer tax havens”

[the German term for tax abuser is Steuersünder, literally “tax sinner”]

The article is capped by a picture of the finance ministers of the Cayman Islands, Curacao and the British Virgin Islands holding their signed OECD automatic information exchange agreements.

The introduction says “BILD manages historic photograph: the finance ministers of the three most infamous tax havens sign the agreement to exchange tax information automatically”.

After a brief overview of the OECD hosted Global Forum meeting of finance ministers in Berlin, BILD continues:

“The Agreement, which will be signed by the finance ministers of such notorious tax havens as the Cayman Islands, Bermuda and Liechtenstein, is a small sensation in the world of finance”.

The full article (in German) is here.

The OECD’s press release says that fifty-one jurisdictions signed the multilateral agreement to share tax information in Berlin, committing to launch the first information exchanges by September 2017.

Among the extensive media coverage, the Tax Justice Network cautions that although this agreement is a first step towards ending bank secrecy, it is likely to exclude many developing countries.

Germany is ranked 8th on the Financial Secrecy Index. Tax haven media coverage of the automatic information exchange agreement to follow as it becomes available.


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