Nov 03 2011

NYTimes notes the changing mood on tax evasion

Posted by: Nick Shaxson in: Thoughts

The New York Times has an interesting article on tax evasion and the changing global mood. I was a bit critical of the OECD in this piece; in my conversation with the journalist, I was actually quite a bit harsher than these quotes suggest.

There is one paragraph I’d like to single out:

“The O.E.C.D. said last month that its efforts through its global forum on taxation, which publishes a blacklist of countries that aid and abet tax evasion, helped collect almost €14 billion, or $19 billion, in additional tax revenue in 20 countries over the past two years.”

This is the OECD blowing its own trumpet, and trying to claim credit for something that it shouldn’t claim (much) credit for. Look at the stories behind this (see this one, for example) and it really looks as if the OECD processes can claim credit for raising billions in tax revenue. But our colleagues in Paris point out, a country-by-country breakdown of the data reveals that in France, every last penny of the claimed increase in revenue came from whistleblower data.

Still, the mood is indeed changing, as you can see here and here.

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