What is the OECD?

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The Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) is like a global think tank for advancing ideas and policy for the leading developed nations.

Based in Paris with 2,500 staff, the OECD gathers social and economic data from member states which is analysed, discussed and edited into digests with recommendations for governments to consider as policies.

The OECD was formed in 1960 when 18 European countries plus the USA and Canada decided a forum to foster economic development was necessary.

One of the foremost current policies under discussion is base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS).

BEPS is a project examining how to stop multinationals moving money from where they make profits to low-tax countries.

Work of the OECD

The OECD is a talking shop where key decisions affecting your life are made then carried out – and you are unlikely to feel the ripples until sometime later.

For expats, tax pacts are already signed and sealed for a global tax reporting network on the lines of the US Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA).

Tax authorities are preparing systems and software for the start of the network in 2017.

Almost 100 countries have signed up to join the network, which will pass personal details and financial information about the foreign holders of bank accounts and investments in one country back to their home country’s tax authority.

Although similar arrangements exist now, tax investigators have to ask for the data – from 2017 the transfer of data will be automatic.

More generally, OECD peer-groups research economic issues for countries around the world and offer support for developing economies.

Out of these reviews come agreements between countries over tax, halting bribery and corruption, policies to improve economic growth and corporate governance.

Who’s a member of the OECD?

The OECD has 34 member countries:

  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Canada
  • Chile
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Ireland
  • Israel
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • South Korea
  • Luxembourg
  • Mexico
  • Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Slovak Republic
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Turkey
  • United Kingdom
  • United States

The OECD also lists Brazil, China, India, South Africa, and Indonesia as key partners.

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