Monday, June 20, 2011

Letter from Helsinki - Finland gets serious

We are delighted to see this report from Matti Ylönen in Finland:

Work for tax justice has been bearing fruit in Finland. The government programme of the new majority coalition government states that "Finland will be in the frontline in ending international tax evasion" and will "act to shut down tax havens". Specifically, Finland will:
  • support the use of Country-by-Country financial statements for transnational corporations
  • support increasing use of automatic and multilateral exchange of information in international tax information exchange (while continuing signing bilateral tax treaties with the tax havens)
  • explore possibilities to replace the OECD's current list of tax havens with a new list with stricter conditions
  • hasten the introduction of an international financial transaction tax with as wide geographical scope as possible. Global tax should be aimed at, but the tax could, at the first stage, be adopted also in the EU level only
Government programmes tend to be highly binding documents in the Finnish political culture and usually governments serve full four years term, so this opens up very interesting prospects - even if some national financial secrecy concerns remain.


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