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With which countries do tax havens share information?

  • Katarzyna Bilicka and Clemens Fuest

In recent years tax havens and offshore financial centres have come under increasing political pressure to cooperate with other countries in matters of taxation and efforts to crowd back tax evasion and avoidance. As a result many tax havens have signed tax information exchange agreements (TIEAs). In order to comply with OECD standards tax havens are obliged to sign at least 12 TIEAs with other countries. This paper investigates how tax havens have chosen their partner countries. We ask whether they have signed TIEAs with countries to which they have strong economic links or whether they have systematically avoided doing this, so that information exchange remains ineffective. We analyse 555 TIEAs signed by tax havens in the years 2008-2011 and find that on average tax havens have signed more TIEAs with countries to which they have stronger economic links. Our analysis thus suggests that tax havens do not systematically undermine tax information exchange by signing TIEAs with irrelevant countries. However, this does not mean that they exchange information with all important partner countries.

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Paper provided by European University Institute (EUI), Robert Schuman Centre of Advanced Studies (RSCAS) in its series EUI-RSCAS Working Papers with number 6.

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Date of creation: 15 Jun 2012
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Handle: RePEc:erp:euirsc:p0308
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