Exchange of information

Automatic Exchange of Information

 

 

Co-operation between tax administrations is critical in the fight against tax evasion and protecting the integrity of tax systems. A key aspect of that co-operation is exchange of information. 

 

Starting in 2012, political interest has increasingly focussed on the opportunities provided by automatic exchange of information. Automatic exchange of information involves the systematic and periodic transmission of “bulk” taxpayer information by the source country to the residence country concerning various categories of income (e.g. dividends, interest, etc.). It can provide timely information on non-compliance where tax has been evaded either on an investment return or the underlying capital sum, even where tax administrations have had no previous indications of non-compliance.

 

On 19 April 2013, the G20 Finance Ministers endorsed automatic exchange as the expected new standard. On 19 June 2013, the G8 Leaders welcomed the OECD Secretary General report “A step change in tax transparency” which set out the concrete steps that needed to be undertaken to put a global model of automatic exchange in practice. On 6 September 2013, the G20 Leaders committed to automatic exchange of information as the new global standard and fully supported the OECD work, with G20 countries, aimed at presenting such a single standard in 2014.

 

On 23 February 2014, the G20 Finance Ministers endorsed the Common Reporting Standard for automatic exchange of tax information, now contained in Part II of the full version of the Standard.  On 6 May 2014, the OECD Declaration on Automatic Exchange of Information in Tax Matters was endorsed by all 34 member countries along with several nonmember countries.  More than 65 jurisdictions publicly committed to implementation, with more than 40 having committed to a specific and ambitious timetable leading to the first automatic information exchanges in 2017 (early adopters).

Highlight

  The cover of the Standard for Automatic Exchange of Financial Account Information

» 51 jurisdictions sign first ever multilateral agreement implementing the Standard on automatic exchange

 

On 21 July 2014, the OECD released the full version of the Standard for Automatic Exchange of Financial Account Information in Tax Matters. The Standard calls on governments to obtain detailed account information from their financial institutions and exchange that information automatically with other jurisdictions on an annual basis. The Standard was approved by the OECD Council on 15 July 2014.

The Standard provides for annual automatic exchange between governments of financial account information, including balances, interest, dividends, and sales proceeds from financial assets, reported to governments by financial institutions and covering accounts held by individuals and entities, including trusts and foundations. It sets out the financial account information to be exchanged, the financial institutions that need to report, the different types of accounts and taxpayers covered, as well as common due diligence procedures to be followed by financial institutions.

 

The full version of the Standard includes commentaries and guidance for implementation by governments and financial institutions, detailed model agreements, as well as standards for harmonised technical and information technology modalities, notably a standard format and requirements for secure transmission of data.

 

The advantage of standardisation is process simplification, higher effectiveness and lower costs for all stakeholders concerned. A proliferation of different and inconsistent models would potentially impose significant costs on both government and business to collect the necessary information and operate the different models.

 

On 22 September 2014, the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes delivered a Roadmap to the G20 Development Working Group which is for developing country participation in the new OECD Standard on the automatic exchange of financial account information. This Roadmap is part of the efforts to curb multinational tax avoidance and offshore tax evasion in developing countries.

 

On 29 October 2014, 51 jurisdictions, 39 of which were represented at ministerial level, signed a multilateral competent authority agreement to automatically exchange information based on Article 6 of the Multilateral Convention. This agreement specifies the details of what information will be exchanged and when, as set out in the Standard.

 

On the same day, the Global Forum released the statement of outcomes from their 7th meeting held in Berlin, which includes the status of commitments on automatic exchange of information.

 

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* Andorra, Anguilla, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bermuda, Brazil, British Virgin Islands, Bulgaria, Canada, Cayman Islands, Chile, People’s Republic of China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Faroe Islands, Finland, France, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Guernsey, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Isle of Man, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jersey, Korea, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Montserrat, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Turks & Caicos Islands, United Kingdom, and United States, and the European Union.

 

Related Documents

 

Information Brief on the Automatic Exchange of Financial Account Information

Common Technical Solutions

 

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