OECD report identifies 21 countries offering ‘golden passport’ schemes

OECD golden passport scheme

29th October 2018

If you look back through our blogs, you’ll certainly notice a common message: the world of international tax compliance is becoming more complex. Authorities worldwide are driving initiatives to prevent and penalise fraudulent behaviour. In amongst this atmosphere, those businesses that operate in a compliant manner are facing an administrative nightmare that could see a small mistake cost their firm financially.

‘Golden passports’

In the latest of these developments, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) released a report in late October highlighting the 21 countries that were operating what they referred to as ‘golden passport’ schemes.

In essence, the nations on the list have allegedly been selling residency or citizenship in exchange for donations to sovereign trust funds. Those taking advantage of these schemes are then able to benefit from the lower taxes in countries they have potentially never even lived in. These second passports are also apparently being used to hide assets held abroad from authorities.

Included on this blacklist are European destinations such as Cyprus, Malta and Monaco, along with a number of Caribbean locations including the Bahamas, Barbuda and Antigua.

Recruiters – beware!

This latest report from the OECD comes at a time when more information is starting to be shared across borders under the Common Reporting Standard (CRS) and certainly highlights why so many nations have signed up to this cooperative framework.

For recruiters, this latest news certainly demonstrates what we’ve long stressed – the world of international contractor placements is becoming increasingly complex and fraudsters really don’t have many places left to hide.

In order to minimise the risks to your agency and ensure you, your suppliers and any partners are operating compliantly, it’s key to seek out expert advice. Contact our specialist team today.


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