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OECD report welcomed - Cullen

Revenue Minister Michael Cullen has welcomed an OECD report on harmful tax practices that gives New Zealand a clean bill of health.

Progress on Identifying and Eliminating Harmful Tax Practices, released today, lists a number of tax havens and discusses harmful tax practices among OECD members.

"The report identifies 35 jurisdictions that technically meet the OECD's tax haven criteria. They include seven Pacific Island countries: the Cook Islands, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Niue, Samoa, Tonga and Vanuatu," Dr Cullen said.

"The OECD hopes they will co-operate with it to remove their harmful tax practice. New Zealand shares that hope.

"The international view is clear that in a community of nations, all countries should meet certain standards of behaviour, and the OECD work is helping to establish these.

"New Zealand has played a significant role in the development of this report as an OECD member. The report does not set out sanctions that will be applied against countries with harmful practices. Instead it discusses a framework by which countries can co-operate to counter harmful tax practices.

"Countries need tax rules that are robust against such practices. New Zealand has such rules but will continue to keep them under review and take any conclusions the OECD reaches into account," Dr Cullen said.

For more information, see www.oecd.org/daf/fa. The OECD's press statement on the report is available on the web site of the Policy Advice Division of Inland Revenue at www.taxpolicy.ird.govt.nz.

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