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Uruguay taken off tax haven blacklist

Video by Olivia SALAZAR-WINSPEAR

Latest update : 2009-09-24

Uruguay has been taken off the OECD blacklist of tax havens that had not agreed to respect international standards, following it's formal endorsement of the organisation's tax information exchange regulations.

AFP - Uruguay has been taken off the OECD blacklist of tax havens that had not agreed to respect international standards, after assurances from the country's finance minister, the organisation said Friday.
   
"The OECD welcomed today the formal endorsement by Uruguay of its tax information exchange standards," said the Paris-based organisation in a statement published on its website.
   
Uruguayan Finance Minister Alvaro Garcia had written to Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development secretary general, Angel Gurria, formally endorsing the organisation's standards in this area, it added.
   
The letter accepted the "standards on transparency and exchange of information, as set out in the 2005 version of Article 26 of the OECD Model Tax Convention," said the statement.
   
"I am pleased that Uruguay joins a growing number of nations willing to co-operate in fighting tax evasion and other tax abuses," Gurria said in the statement.
   
On Thursday, just hours after the G20 summit agreed to crack down on tax havens, the OECD released a "league table" of countries listed according to their degree of compliance with international standards in this area.
   
Uruguay was classed in the lowest category, along with -- Costa Rica, Malaysia and the Philippines -- designating countries that had "not committed to the internationally agreed tax standard."
   
Uruguay was quick to deny the accusation.
   
"In Uruguay, we are not a tax haven. Uruguay may not be a monastery, but it is not a casino," Uruguay's President Tabare Vazquez said Friday, during a visit to Chile for the summit of center-left world leaders.
   
Central Bank chief Mario Bergara also told reporters that the country's financial system was "sound" and "serious."
   
The nation's banking was constrained by strict regulation, especially the approval of Tax Reform legislation in 2007, he added.

Date created : 2009-04-04

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