SEYCHELLES GOVERNMENT COMMITS TO IMPLEMENT OECD RULES BUT ASKS FOR FAIRNESS IN INTERNATIONAL TAXATION RULES
The following statement has been issued today by the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Jean-Paul Adam:
Following the recent move by the G20 to publish a list of suspected tax-havens amongst which Seychelles is named, the Government of Seychelles wishes to re-iterate its unwavering commitment and engagement to implementing internationally agreed tax standards within local legislation.
The Government has been steadfast in its ongoing cooperation with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and development (OECD) and while there are outstanding legislations to implement, this delay should in no way be construed as a lack of political will. This delay has instead been due to the fact that the Seychelles has had two national elections in 2011 and as such the National Assembly has had to contend with numerous interruptions.
Throughout this entire process the OECD has been kept fully abreast of the situation with full transparency, and as such the Government feels that to be blindly condemned by the G20 is detrimental to the process.
The Government feels that the recent listing of countries deemed non-compliant only succeeds in diverting attention away from the larger issues; in order to achieve true fairness in taxation, it is imperative that the too often ignored fact that the majority of tax evasion is actually committed within OECD countries.
It is easier to say that small jurisdictions must improve their legislation to be more compliant, something most are striving hard to do, but what is much harder to say is that there are a large number of influential companies already exploiting existing loopholes within OECD jurisdiction that need to be tackled.
Small Island Developing States are faced with numerous well-known capacity challenges and constraints and we hope that the G20 will be more constructive in its reflections in the future. Despite the G20’s unequal approach, the Government does in fact welcome more regulation on international taxation regimes when done in a fair and consistent manner.
- · Seychelles has also signed Taxation Information Exchange Agreements (TIEAs) with the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Greenland, and the Faroe Islands based on the OECD model and is actively pursuing further agreements.
- · A report by Global Witness which illustrates how the majority of funds thought to be from corrupt regimes are channeled through European banks
- · An article in the Economist referencing a study undertaken by Griffiths University (Australia) in 2009 proving that it is easier to establish shell companies with OECD countries rather than smaller jurisdiction. http://www.economist.com/node/13382279?story_id=13382279