Tuesday, 17 January 2012, 18:00 – 20:00
Haus der Musik, Seilerstätte 30, 1010 Vienna
Grace Perez-Navarro, Centre for Tax Policy and Administration, OECD (Paris)
Dereje Alemayehu, Tax Justice Network Africa (Nairobi)
Michael Lang, Dpt. of Austrian and International Tax Law, Univ. of Economics and Business Administration (Vienna)
Welcome and Chair: Martina Neuwirth, VIDC-Vienna Institute
Languages: German, English (simultaneous translation)
What have Greece, Argentina and Nigera in common? They were or are victims of massive tax evasion. Over 50 percent of all illegal transactions are made for tax evasion purposes. These illegal financial transactions constitute a major problem for developing and developed countries alike. Mostly trade mispricing but also capital flight and corruption are the main drivers of these illicit flows. According to a „Global Financial Integrity“ report, approximately 6,5 trillion US dollars were removed from developing countries between 2000 and 2008. This is ten times the amount provided by Official Development Assistance (ODA) resources. African countries lost between 854 billion and 1,8 trillion US dollars in the years between 1970 and 2008. Tax havens or „Secrecy Jurisdictions“, offering very low tax rates, strict banking secrecy and/or the incorporation of shell companies, facilitate capital flight and tax evasion. In this context, critics point at Austria because of its banking secrecy.
What can be done against tax evasion and how can poorer countries be supported in fighting it? What counter measure were taken internationally, especially at the OECD level, and what are the outcomes? What is done at the EU level? How does Austria act nationally and internationally and what can be done to trace illicit flows?