UN Committee. . .

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The United Nations Committee of Experts on International Cooperation in Tax Matters is the custodian of the UN Model Income Tax Convention. A major goal of the committee is to give voice to the developing and emerging countries on international tax matters. The committee meets once a year in Geneva, typically in October.

For a copy of the committee's "birth document" that led to its establishment as a committee, please click here.

The developing countries have traditionally favored much stronger measures to combat tax evasion than the OECD and a more expansive exercise of taxation at source.

Tax Policy for Development

Tax policy can affect the pace of economic development and the way the rewards of that development are distributed. This web site collects information that should be useful to countries seeking to implement a progressive development strategy in which taxation plays a prominent role.

Recent Developments on Combating Tax Evasion

 

  • The OECD has been attempting to promote its failed 2002 Tax Information Exchange Agreement (TIEA) as the international standard for transparency and cooperation. Offshore financial centers, including many that are rather famous for facilitating international tax evasion and money laundering have been rushing to sign up under the OECD program. For a proposal for an effective TIEA and a comparison with the OECD TIEA, click here.
  • Mexico has requested that the United States, in accordance with the U.S.-Mexico tax treaty, agree to provide an automatic exchange of information with respect to American deposits in Mexican banks and Mexican deposits in American banks. For the request letter, please click here. As of 2011, the United States has made no public response to the Mexican initiative.
  • The UN Committee of Experts, meeting in Geneva October 19-23, 2009,considered the adoption of a United Nations Code of Conduct on Cooperation in Combating International Tax Evasion. Although the draft code, prepared at the request of the committee by Professor Michael J. McIntyre, was widely supported, with recommendations for only minor changes, at the 2007 and 2008 meetings of the committee, the Code was amended to the point that it did little more than affirm the policies behind Article 26. The Code, as adopted, however, did endorse the UN Commentary to Article 26, which goes well beyond the OECD's retrograde position on information exchange. For a memo critical of the OECD position and the replacement draft proposed by an OECD member, please click here.

About Us. . .

For information about the purpose of this site and its contributing editors, please click here.

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The Monterrey Consensus. . .

In 2002, the United Nations convened a meeting of heads of state at Monterrey, Mexico to discuss plans for financing development in the developing world. The resulting document is called the Monterrey Consensus. The United Nations treats it as a foundation document on many matters, including tax policy for development.

Current Reading

Michael J. McIntyre, How to End the Charade of Information Exchange, 56 Tax Notes Int'l 255-268 (October 26, 2009).

The Tax Justice Network has recently prepared a Financial Secrecy Index that identifies the key contributors to global financial secrecy on a jurisdiction-by-jurisdiction basis.