Rationale and definition:
There is no serious, legitimate reason for hiding the true ownership of companies, trusts, or similar legal structures from a country’s tax authorities. In many of the poorest countries, anonymous shell companies in offshore locations open the door to corruption and defrauding the public purse. Transparent beneficial company ownership is crucial to curb these illicit financial flows and capital flight that undermine sustainable development. Beneficial ownership should therefore be transparent and publicly available.1
Comments and limitations:
Governments can report on , though the number of legal entities is very hard to track, and publish a ownership.
Preliminary assessment of current data availability by Friends of the Chair:
Primary data source:
Primarily data from administrative sources.
Potential lead agency or agencies:
OECD’s Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes and Financial Action Taskforce, and other transparency initiatives such as the Financial Secrecy Index and the Open Company Data Index.
Financial Action Taskforce (2014), FATF guidance Transparency and Beneficial Ownership.