The Center for Tax Competition researches the impact of strong tax competition and the preservation of financial privacy on individual freedom and property.

Tax burden and individual rights in the OECD: an international comparison

High-tax governments should end their fight against tax competition and "tax havens" and address their own failings.

The global economic crisis has led to intensified efforts by some heavily indebted high-tax states against other countries often referred to as “tax havens”, i.e., jurisdictions with lower taxes and better financial privacy rules. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), an official agency analyzing the public policies of 30 countries, has played a key role in promoting the exchange of bank information for tax purposes for over 10 years. During the G20 summit in April 2009, it served again as a support for lists of countries exempting some and accusing others, in particular those countries which recognize in their legislation their citizens' rights to the confidentiality of their banking information.

This report reevaluates the OECD's fight against “harmful tax competition” and “tax havens” in the perspective of civil society and shows that the only ones to gain from this fight are unreformed high-tax states, to the detriment of their residents and their prosperity. The report quantifies for the first time, with the means of a tax oppression index, the weight of the tax burden, the legitimacy of the tax system and the protection of financial privacy in the 30 OECD countries.

With a foreword by Professor Pascal Salin

Download the report:
Tax burden and individual rights in the OECD (22 pages, PDF)

June 2009