Recent announcements by the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes.
The Global Forum has recently published its Phase 1 reports on Columbia, Saudi Arabia, Latvia and the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) after the completion of the peer reviews. It concluded that the procedures in place in Columbia, Saudi Arabia and Latvia were suitable for the jurisdictions to qualify for the next stage in the review process and they would now progress to the Phase 2 peer review.
However, the position in FSM was less satisfactory, with the report concluding that it does not have in place a legal framework to ensure transparency to the required standards and was not yet a suitable candidate to progress to the further round of reviews.
At the same time, Phase 2 peer reports were published following inspection of Barbados, Malaysia, Slovakia and Slovinia. Of the four jurisdictions only Slovinia was rated as ‘compliant’, with Malaysia and Slovakia achieving a rating as ‘largely compliant’. Barbados due to gaps in the network of agreements it has entered into for the exchange of information only received a rating of ‘partially compliant’.
Following earlier reports on Botswana, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Mauritius and Panama the Global Forum has now produced supplemental reports following the peer review of each jurisdiction.
The satisfactory reports on Botswana and UAE have removed the block that had previously prevented these jurisdictions moving to the next stage of the review process.
There was also good news for Mauritius which, the report concluded, has implemented the recommendations of the Global Forum and qualified to maintain its rating as ‘largely compliant’. Panama was less fortunate, however. While the report found that there have been improvements in the jurisdiction’s legal framework, sufficient progress had not been made in other respects and for this reason it was not appropriate for Panama to proceed to the next stage with a Phase 2 review.