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17 May 2017

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G7 Finance Ministers Communiqué and Declaration on Fighting Tax Crimes Published

A Communiqué and Declaration on fighting tax crimes and other illicit financial flows from the G7 Finance Ministers has been published following their meeting held 12 to 13 May 2017 in Bari, Italy. Regarding tax and transparency, the Communiqué includes the following:

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16. We remain committed to work for globally fair and modern tax systems and to achieve a global level playing field for all engaged in economic activities. To this end, timely, consistent and widespread implementation of the G20/OECD BEPS (Base Erosion and Profit Shifting) package is crucial. We encourage all relevant and interested countries and jurisdictions to commit to implement the BEPS package and join the G20/OECD Inclusive Framework on BEPS. We look forward to the first signing on 7th June 2017 of the Multilateral Convention to Implement Tax Treaty Related Measures to Prevent BEPS. We recognise the importance of monitoring and evaluating the developments related to the digitalization of the economy, and, depending on conclusions of the work by the OECD Task Force on the Digital Economy (TFDE), developing policy options, as appropriate, to address related tax challenges with a consistent approach. In this context, we look forward to the interim report of the OECD TFDE in 2018. We support the work of the OECD and the IMF on Tax Certainty.

17. Reaffirming our goal to enhance tax transparency at the global level, we join the G20 call on all jurisdictions to sign and ratify the multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters and urge all relevant countries and jurisdictions, including all financial centres which have not yet done so to commit without delay to implementing the Common Reporting Standard (CRS) on automatic exchange of financial account information which will commence in September 2017 and to take all necessary actions, including putting in place domestic legislation, in order to start exchanges under the CRS by September 2018 at the latest. We expect sufficient progress from jurisdictions that do not have yet a satisfactory level of implementation of the agreed international standards on tax transparency and look forward to the OECD’s preparation of a list of non-cooperative jurisdictions with respect to tax transparency, which will guide our work on defensive measures against listed jurisdictions. We welcome the work by the FATF and the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes to improve the implementation of the international standards on availability of beneficial ownership information as well as the OECD work in complementary tax areas related to beneficial ownership.

18. The “Bari Declaration on fighting tax crimes and other illicit financial flows” reflects our determination to use a holistic approach to fighting against tax and financial crime based on effective interagency and international cooperation. We support initiatives on discussing possible ways to address arrangements designed to circumvent reporting under the CRS or aimed at providing beneficial owners with the shelter of non-transparent structures, considering also model mandatory disclosure rules.

19. We reaffirm that strengthening the capacity of developing countries to mobilise domestic resources is critical to the achievement of the global 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Improving the capacity in tax policy and administration is also crucial for a global level playing field. To this purpose, we remain committed to the principles of the Addis Tax Initiative and we support the work of the Platform for Collaboration on Tax, acknowledging its key role in deepening collaboration between the international organisations and enhancing effective external support in building tax capacity. We will continue to support targeted assistance to developing countries in building their tax capacity. We also welcome new initiatives in the area of tackling tax and financial crime, like the establishment by the OECD of the Africa Academy for Tax and Financial Crime Investigation in Kenya.

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With respect to the Declaration, specific actions include requesting the OECD to develop ways to address arrangements designed to circumvent reporting under the Common Reporting Standard or aimed at providing beneficial owners with the shelter of non-transparent structures, and to develop model mandatory disclosure rules based on the approach taken for disclosure of avoidance arrangements in BEPS Action 12.

Click the following links for the full text of the Finance Ministers' Communiqué and the Declaration.

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