16/11/09 - Spain has joined 16 other countries that have signed the OECD / Council of Europe Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters , marking a new step forward in international efforts to combat tax fraud and evasion.
The Convention provides for exchange of information, multilateral simultaneous tax examinations and cross-border assistance in tax collection, while imposing extensive safeguards to protect the confidentiality of the information exchanged. By joining the Convention, Spain will improve its capacity to counteract tax fraud more efficiently.
Parties to the Convention are presently Azerbaijan, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Iceland, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Sweden, Ukraine, the United Kingdom and the United States. Canada, Germany and now Spain have signed the Convention and are awaiting ratification.
OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría welcomed Spain’s signature of the Convention, noting that as more countries join the benefits of the Convention grow.
“Given its multilateral nature, the Convention is a unique instrument to counteract international tax avoidance and evasion,” he commented. “The OECD and the Council of Europe have agreed to improve international cooperation to combat tax evasion and the standards set by the Convention are being updated to reflect this new consensus.”
“New provisions aim to remove obstacles to effective co-operation and exchange of information, especially those related to bank secrecy legislation. We are also proposing to open the Convention to countries that are not members of the Council of Europe or the OECD and thereby transform it into an instrument to fight tax evasion worldwide.”
For further information, please contact: Jeffrey Owens, Director of the OECD’s Centre for Tax Policy and Administration, (tel. +33 1 45 24 91 08, e-mail: email@example.com)