The Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes (the Global Forum) published recently, nine peer review reports assessing compliance with international standards on tax transparency.Eight of these reports assess countries against the updated standards which incorporate beneficial ownership information of all legal entities and arrangements, in line with the Financial Action Task Force international definition.

Four jurisdictions – Estonia, France, Monaco and New Zealand –  received an overall rating of “Compliant.” Three others – The Bahamas, Belgium and Hungary were rated “Largely Compliant.” Ghana was rated “Partially Compliant.”

Progress for Jamaica were recognised through a Supplementary Report which attributes a “Largely Compliant” rating.

The Global Forum now includes 150 members on an equal footing as Montenegro has just joined the international fight against tax evasion. Members of the Global Forum already include all G20 and OECD countries, all international financial centres and many developing countries.

The Global Forum also runs an extensive technical assistance programme to provide support to its members in implementing the standards and helping tax authorities to make the best use of cross-border information sharing channels.

If South Africa want to become Globally competitive in all areas of trade, we need to become part of these and other Global Forums.