Money Laundering, Tax Evasion and Financial Regulation

11 June 2007

money-laundering2The seminar looked at the effectiveness of the Anti Money Laundering (AML) regime that has been built over the past two decades, and the more recent attempts by states and international organisations to control tax evasion, capital flight and curb tax avoidance and harmful tax competition. Despite the impressive paper framework the AML regime appears to be not very effective.

Tax evasion and avoidance, harmful tax practices, flight capital and transfer pricing have been recognized as having an even greater damaging impact on the global financial system and as a major impediment for countries to sustain their tax base, and in particular for developing countries to sustain their own development. However, even less has been achieved in building an effective global regime to counter tax transgressions.

Offshore centers, tax havens, private banking and lax bookkeeping regulations play a major role in undermining both AML and tax regulation. Both cases call for effective re-regulation at the international level. The seminar will brings together experts in the fields of AML and tax justice to analyze current shortcomings, and discuss recommendations on the way forward. Will it be sufficient to strengthen current regulatory initiatives or is something more robust needed?

An evaluation and overhaul of the entire system of international financial regulation seems to be necessary. The result of that process should be a comprehensive approach to tackle money laundering, tax evasion and avoidance and financial flight capital as interconnected phenomena and provide the necessary enforcement mechanisms. The United Nations might be the right arena to provide a ‘level playing field’ to negotiate such a comprehensive approach.

Documents:

Assessing the AML regime and lessons to learn

Tackling Tax Evasion, Tax Havens and Offshore Finance

See also:

TNI Expert Seminar
June 12-13, 2007

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