On 3 June, the Tax Justice Network published a report on the state of play of ownership registration of companies, partnerships, trusts and private foundations. It updates a 2018 report and is said to cover more jurisdictions, reaching a total of 133, including all OECD and EU Member States. The new report found that 81 jurisdictions already have laws requiring beneficial ownership to be registered with a government authority, up from 34 jurisdictions mentioned in the 2018 report. Public access to beneficial ownership information has also increased. The report also says that another important improvement is that more countries are establishing lower thresholds in their beneficial ownership definitions. 4 jurisdictions are already requiring anyone with just 1 share to be identified as a beneficial owner: Argentina, Botswana, Ecuador and Saudi Arabia. On the one hand, there are many countries where bearer shares may pose risks (at least 46) and having legal ownership registration requirements doesn’t mean that information will be updated.
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