G20 plans legal framework to curb tax avoidance

G20 plans legal framework to curb tax avoidance
Delegates prepare to hear the opening remarks at the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting in Cairns.

CAIRNS, Australia - The Group of 20 countries is formulating plans for a legal framework to improve the exchange of information between countries in order to stamp out tax avoidance, French Finance Minister Michel Sapin said on Sunday.

Speaking at the conclusion of a G20 meeting in Cairns, Australia, Sapin said 47 countries have already agreed to exchange information by 2017 and another eight G20 members, as well as New Zealand, will join by 2018.

He said increased pressure would be put on 14 countries whose transparency standards were inadequate. He did not name the laggards.

"We plan to put in place a standard that can quickly be incorporated into each countries' legal framework," Sapin told a press briefing .

As part of the drive to combat tax avoidance by multinationals, G20 countries agreed at a meeting in St Petersburg last year to launch at action plan tackling base-erosion and profit shifting (BEPS).

Sapin said that those efforts had reached a half-way mark.

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