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Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
Sounds good, doesn't it? Progress, development, international co-operation, etc. But on looking into this further it may not be as positive and helpful as it seems.
At www.oecd.org there's a lot of talk about making the rules of the game fair, and having a level playing-field and fair competition. So, let's put that to the test:
I run an online business and I could run it from just about anywhere in the world provided I could have a decent Internet link. If there was to be "fair competition" I could migrate to whichever country has the most favourable conditions. You'd think the OECD would consider that fair. Now, the OECD have a blacklist of tax havens which they consider "harmful". So, let's ask if there are places which I can move where the tax practices are honest and "not harmful"...
|----- Original Message -----
To: ctp.contact@ oecd.org
Sent: Thursday, February 05, 2004 12:31 AM
Subject: A non-harmful tax question
Dear people at OECD,
I would like to ask you a question about tax; a reasonable question which I'm sure can be answered. I understand that you have policies regarding fair competition in the world economy relating to tax, and that you regard the behaviour of some tax regimes as "harmful". In view of the fact that the aim is for a "level playing field", it must therefore be acceptable for countries to have different tax systems and to compete.
I run a company which exists almost entirely online. It's a website that makes money by international marketing of a wide variety of products and services. Because this enterprise exists almost entirely in cyberspace, it follows that I could live anywhere in the world and run the company in the same way I do now. I could relocate myself and operate my business from a desert island with a satellite link if necessary.
Of course, in a fair competition tax market, I'd choose to move to somewhere which has less tax. Preferably no tax at all. It's my intention to move physically to where the tax situation is best; not just to have a company on paper which is theoretically relocated, but to actually be there myself. This is tax avoidance, not tax evasion, and it's entirely honest and above-board.
So, can you please show me a list of tax havens which are doing the right thing, not engaged in activities which are considered "harmful"?
I look forward to hearing from you.
Online international business which could have its office anywhere.
But, guess what, I have had no reply. Maybe they're very busy at the OECD, or maybe they don't really think it's worth answering questions from people, or... and this is the worrying paranoid speculation I fear... maybe it is the case that the OECD is not about having fair competition in the international tax market and a "level playing field" and that in truth they would prefer it if we all pay as much tax as possible and to be ruled by ignorance. By not letting people have the facts about the different tax situations in different countries people can not make an informed choice and will just end up being victim to localised tyranny. Not exactly a "fair competitive market", is it?
But let's not be too hasty about this. Maybe I've got them wrong on it somehow. Then again, those friendly people speaking from personal experience in The Cayman Islands said that the OECD is not regarded well in the Cayman Islands! I wonder why.
Well, OECD produced a blacklisted list of tax havens, and I have used this as a basis to create a genuine List of Tax Havens with the aim of helping would-be tax exiles to make an informed choice about where to move their businesses. If we are going to have actual free choice and a genuine fair competition in the international tax market, then let's do it properly!
Remember, tax havens are good! You SHOULD be able to Escape to a Tax Haven. As a matter of personal freedom, you should. Plus, as countries running things badly are putting themselves out of business, you need to be able to VOTE WITH YOUR FEET and move to a country that has a more reasonable tax regime that actually encourages prosperity, rather than persists in bad management. It was a sad thing about the UK in 2009, but... Squeak... splosh!
Hey, OECD! If you think I've got you wrong on this, please be in touch! I'm open-minded about it and would welcome some helpful information and genuine Economic Co-operation and Development for my business! e-mail