On 25 February, a news release from the OECD says that its new report explores the different strategies and actions that countries can take against those professional service providers who play a crucial part in the planning and pursuit of criminal activity, referred to in the report as “professional enablers”. White collar crimes like tax evasion, bribery and corruption are often hidden through complex legal structures and financial transactions facilitated by lawyers, notaries, accountants, financial institutions and other professional enablers.
The report notes that the majority of professional service providers are law-abiding, and play an important role in assisting businesses and individuals understand and comply with the law. The aim of the new OECD report is to said to be to assist countries in dealing with the small subset that use their specialised skills and knowledge to enable clients to defraud the government and evade their tax obligations. The report calls on countries to establish or strengthen national strategies to deal with professional enablers more effectively. The news release provides examples of these strategies.
ENDING THE SHELL GAME: CRACKING DOWN ON THE PROFESSIONALS WHO ENABLE TAX AND WHITE COLLAR CRIMES
The OECD report is concerned with white collar crimes like tax evasion, bribery, and corruption are often concealed through complex legal structures and financial transactions facilitated by lawyers, accountants, financial institutions and other “professional enablers” of such crimes. It says that these crimes have significant impacts on government revenue, public confidence and economic growth, including the recovery from COVID-19. This report sets out a range of strategies and actions for countries to take to tackle professional intermediaries who enable tax evasion and other financial crimes on behalf of their criminal clients. The report highlights the damaging role played by these intermediaries and the importance of concerted domestic and international action in clamping down on the enablers of crime, and includes recommended counter-strategies for deterring, disrupting, investigating and prosecuting the professionals who enable tax and white-collar crimes.
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