Remarks by Angel Gurría,
Paris, 24 November 2015
Dear Ambassador, ladies and gentlemen,
Today, Israel becomes the 91st jurisdiction to join the Multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters. This powerful instrument for cross-border tax assistance has now been signed by all OECD members – an important show of unity in our common fight against tax evasion.
The Convention allows Israel to rapidly expand its network of information exchange partners – giving it the tools to obtain tax information from countries stretching from Norway to Australia, from Colombia to China. It also provides a legal basis for other forms of cross-border tax cooperation, including assistance in the collection of taxes, or the undertaking of joint tax examinations with partner administrations.
24 November 2015 - Israel signs the Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters. From left: Carmel Shama-Hacohen, Ambassador of Israel to the OECD, and Angel Gurria, OECD Secretary-General. OECD, Paris, France.
Photo: Andrew Wheeler/OECD
The Convention also provides a gateway into automatic exchange of financial account information – which Israel has committed to implement and to undertake its first automatic exchanges in 2018.
Ratification of the Convention will both facilitate fulfilment of this specific commitment, and to address the recommendations made by the Global Forum in its 2014 review of Israel. We would therefore encourage Israel to proceed swiftly with the ratification process.
With the finalisation and endorsement of BEPS, 2015 promises to be a landmark year in cross-border tax cooperation. At the same time, we estimate that the introduction of measures to apply the common reporting standard for automatic exchange of financial account information (AEOI) has already seen 30 countries take in an additional EUR 48 billion in tax revenues!
But this is only the beginning, and we see scope for even greater cooperation in the years to come as our economies become increasingly interconnected and interdependent. We look forward to Israel’s continued active engagement to tackle tax avoidance and combat aggressive corporate tax avoidance.