Transparency of Asset and Beneficial Ownership Information

61 Pages Posted: 30 Jan 2021

Date Written: July 19, 2020


The goal of this paper is to describe the concept and explain the importance of beneficial ownership transparency, the evolution of relevant international standards and practices, and finally to propose recommendations on how to achieve better frameworks to tackle tax avoidance and evasion, corruption and money-laundering. The paper is based on relevant publications, especially by international organizations (e.g., the Financial Action Task Force) as well as the author’s previous research relating to analyzing loopholes in the beneficial ownership frameworks of more than 100 jurisdictions.

The section 2 of this paper will explain the concept of beneficial ownership and the importance that information about beneficial ownership has for country authorities trying to promote accountability and financial integrity. Section 3 will review the standards currently in place for maintaining beneficial ownership information, their implementation, and the gaps in the current system. Section 4 will discuss the availability of beneficial ownership information across borders and discuss the mechanisms for country authorities to obtain information on assets outside their own jurisdiction. It will also inform on the impediments to implementation of existing systems as well as gaps in the system. Section 5 will turn to proposals for addressing the gaps, vulnerabilities and impediments that have been identified.

Suggested Citation

Knobel, Andres, Transparency of Asset and Beneficial Ownership Information (July 19, 2020). Available at SSRN: or

Andres Knobel (Contact Author)

Tax Justice Network ( email )


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