The opposition and social activists like Baba Ramdev should perhaps lower their pitch on 'black money stashed in tax havens abroad'. A report presented to G20 leaders at the Los Cabos summit in Mexico says India does not need to upgrade its international tax treaties, as it is now a member of the international convention allowing automatic exchange of tax information.
In this respect, it is ahead of the United States, the United Kingdom, or Germany, the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes, backed by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation & Development (OECD), said in its report.
The OECD has said that India, Australia, China, France, Ireland, the Isle of Man, Italy, Japan, Malta, Norway, Qatar, and the Seychelles do not need to upgrade their systems on any of the elements covered by the Paris-based agency.
On the other hand the US, which was instrumental in getting Switzerland to amend its laws on sharing banking information, needs to improve on one or two elements, the report said without mentioning specifics.
The UK and Germany were bracketed in the same league as perceived 'tax havens' like Mauritius and St Kitts.
Countries are rated on 10 parameters including standards on ownership, accounting and banking in a peer review mechanism.
The Global Forum says that more than 800 exchange-of-information agreements have now been signed. And since the Cannes Summit, four more countries - Colombia, Costa Rica, Greece and India - have signed a multilateral convention to counter tax evasion. The number of signatory countries now stands at 35.
A supplementary report by the OECD shows growing adherence to automatic exchange of tax information. The OECD also announced a new initiative to tackle the misuse of corporate vehicles such as shell companies.
The work will tackle the issue of tax base erosion and profit shifting by some multinational firms. A progress report on the initiative will be presented to the next G20 Summit.