24/03/14 - OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría has welcomed moves by more than 40 countries – reinforced by EU leaders - to commit to a detailed timetable to step up the fight against tax evasion.
The European Council last week called on a number of European states to join a group of “early adopter” countries committed to the new single global standard for the automatic exchange of information between tax authorities, developed by the OECD. The early adopters this week publicly announced their commitment to implement the new standard on the basis of ambitious, specific and co-ordinated timelines. At the same time, Austria and Luxembourg dropped their objections to revision of the EU Savings Directive, thereby paving the way for its adoption today.
Mr Gurría said: “The commitment by so many countries and jurisdictions to implement the OECD’s Global Standard on the basis of a specific and ambitious timetable is good news for everyone who wants to see a fair and transparent international tax system. The rapidity with which the new norms are being developed and agreed shows that the political momentum for reform is now overwhelming.
And he added: “Adopting the new global standard is not just a question of establishing co-operation between states, it is also about restoring the trust of citizens in government. ”
The standard obliges countries and jurisdictions to exchange information obtained from their banks and financial institutions automatically on an annual basis.
G20 governments have mandated the OECD-hosted Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes to monitor and review implementation of the standard.
The OECD is expected to deliver a detailed Commentary on the new standard, as well as technical solutions to implement the actual information exchanges, during a meeting of G20 finance ministers in September 2014.
Journalist queries on the new standard should be directed to Pascal Saint-Amans, Director of the OECD Centre for Tax Policy and Administration (CTPA), Achim Pross, Head of the CTPA International Co-operation and Tax Administration Division, or the OECD Media Office (+33 1 4524 9700).