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OECD : Continuing movement towards greater tax transparency
01/08/2016

OECD update - Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes

In July 2016, a further ten peer review reports were published by the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes.

The peer review reports cover eight jurisdictions that have completed the Phase 2 Review and two jurisdictions at the Phase 1 Review.

The Phase 2 Report on Switzerland recognised the progress the jurisdiction has made in recent years and concluded by rating it as ‘Largely Compliant’ with international standards. The report noted that transparency and the exchange of information for tax purposes is generally in line with accepted international standards. The report contained a number of recommendations, including that Switzerland implement mechanisms to enable the holders of bearer shares to be identified. Regarding requests that were made as a result of information obtained from stolen data the report recommended the Switzerland revise its law and practise to give effect to exchange of information mechanisms.

Other jurisdictions receiving the rating of ‘Largely Compliant’ with international standards included Albania, Cameroon, Gabon, Pakistan and Senegal.

The Phase 2 review of the United Arab Emirates resulted in a rating of ‘Partially Compliant’.

The Phase 1 assessment of Ukraine’s legal and regulatory framework found that there was room for improvement in certain areas, principally, the information on foreign companies and partnerships and foreign trusts administered in Ukraine, details of the holders of bearer shares. Other recommendations included clarification of its law on access to banking information. The next phase of the peer review will take place in the latter part of 2018 when Ukraine’s response to the recommendations will be considered, together with an assessment of the jurisdiction’s legal structure and practices for the exchange of information.

The Supplementary Report on Liberia, after the Phase 1 Review completed in 2012, assessed the revisions made to its legal framework and  exchange of tax information. The report concluded that sufficient progress had been made to move to the next stage of peer review in 2018.

Saint Lucia was upgraded in the Supplementary Report to the 2014 Phase 2 review, from ‘Partially Compliant’ to ‘Largely Compliant’ following the reassessment of its exchange of tax information practice.

The OECD announced that the total number of reviews completed have risen to 235 with Phase 2 compliance ratings allocated to 101 jurisdictions. There are now 135 member of the Global Forum with Egypt the most recent member.

With the automatic exchange of tax information commencing in 2017, members of the Global Forum are working to monitor the effectiveness of the implementation and exchange process to ensure that members effectively meet the commitments for the delivery of information and duties of confidentiality. The monitoring will aim to identify any problem areas where improvements can be made and to assist developing countries to receive the benefits of automatic exchange.

For more information on this subject see our previous news item at http://www.rosemont-int.com/news/07-03-2016-automatic-exchange-of-information-for-tax-purposes-oecd-update/ and http://www.rosemont-int.com/news/16-11-2015-are-you-compliant-fatca-gatca-crs-and-moreh/ or please contact Peter Brigham p.brigham@rosemont-mc.com