RP out of Tax Havens' List

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MANILA, Philippines - The Philippines has been removed from the world list of havens for tax evasion and money laundering by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).The country's removal from the "grey list" of tax havens is expected to boost investments from OECD member countries. The OECD is composed mostly of rich countries in Europe and other members of the Group 20 like the United States, Canada, Japan, Australia, Brazil, and Argentina.Malacanang was elated by the delisting of the country from the world's list of tax havens and expects this to strengthen the government's campaign against tax evasion and money laundering.Deputy Presidential Spokeswoman Abigail Valte said this latest feat was achieved following the Aquino administration's issuance of guidelines implementing a law that mandates the sharing of tax information.Likewise, the Department of Finance (DoF) lauded the OECD decision to take off the Philippines on the list of non-cooperative tax havens.Finance Undersecretary Gil S. Beltran said the decision of OECD, a grouping of industrialized countries, should help foreign investment in the Philippines."We are pleased that the OECD is recognizing the efforts we have made to come out with a law that allows them access to our tax data," Beltran said.In April last year, the OECD placed the Philippines, Malaysia, Costa Rica, and Uruguay on the list of countries failing to comply with agreed international tax standards. The country landed in the blacklist of non-cooperative tax havens for refusal to adopt new rules on financial openness. Valte said lawmakers who worked for the passage of Republic Act No. 10021 or the Exchange of Information on Tax Matters Act as well as the Aquino administration that crafted its implementing guidelines should be credited for the country's "white list" upgrade. …