Emerging developments in international tax policy illustrate well how many
taxation schemes threaten privacy.
In a report titled "Toward Global Tax Co-operation," the Organization for
Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has proposed to give governments
broad access to personal financial information for the purpose of collecting
taxes. This proposal is akin to the pernicious "Know Your
Customer" regulations that were solidly rejected in the United States in
1998. Though taxes as a percentage of GDP have consistently risen in OECD
countries over the last 20 years, the OECD regards it as "harmful" to see
countries competing against one another to provide good services at low cost
to residents, citizens, and investors.
The OECD consistently works to increase the ability of its member governments
to access the financial information of their citizens. It issued a report
in April, 2000 called "Improving Access to Bank Information for Tax Purposes."
"Bank information" is, of course, a euphemism for bank customer information.
The OECD's efforts represent a great threat to financial privacy because many
OECD member states lack the traditions of freedom and personal autonomy that the U.S.
enjoys, and because the OECD is comprised of unelected bureaucrats who represent
the interests of governments more than people.
OECD's Glass House (Part 2 of 2) by Daniel Mitchell, Washington
Times (December 8, 2000)
OECD's Perpetual Tax Grab (Part 1 of 2) by Daniel Mitchell, Washington
Times (December 7, 2000)
Big Brother or Financial Privacy? by Daniel Mitchell, Washington
Times (December 3, 2000)
OECD Proposal to Eliminate Tax Competition Would Mean Higher Taxes and Less
Privacy, by Daniel J. Mitchell, PH.D., The Heritage Foundation (September 18, 2000)
Global Tax Co-operation: Report to the 2000 Ministerial Council Meeting and
Recommendations by the Committee on Fiscal Affairs, Progress in Identifying and
Eliminating Harmful Tax Practices, Organization for Economic Cooperation
and Development (June 26, 2000)
Access to Bank Information for Tax Purposes, Statement of Gabriel Makhlouf,
Chair of the Committee on Fiscal Affairs, Organization for Economic Cooperation and
Development (April 12, 2000)