In series:Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes: Peer Reviewsview more titles
Published on October 29, 2014
This report contains the 2014 “Phase 2: Implementation of the Standards in Practice” Global Forum review of the Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.
The Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes is the multilateral framework within which work in the area of tax transparency and exchange of information is carried out by over 120 jurisdictions which participate in the work of the Global Forum on an equal footing.
The Global Forum is charged with in-depth monitoring and peer review of the implementation of the standards of transparency and exchange of information for tax purposes. These standards are primarily reflected in the 2002 OECD Model Agreement on Exchange of Information on Tax Matters and its commentary, and in Article 26 of the OECD Model Tax Convention on Income and on Capital and its commentary as updated in 2004, which has been incorporated in the UN Model Tax Convention.
The standards provide for international exchange on request of foreseeably relevant information for the administration or enforcement of the domestic tax laws of a requesting party. “Fishing expeditions” are not authorised, but all foreseeably relevant information must be provided, including bank information and information held by fiduciaries, regardless of the existence of a domestic tax interest or the application of a dual criminality standard.
All members of the Global Forum, as well as jurisdictions identified by the Global Forum as relevant to its work, are being reviewed. This process is undertaken in two phases. Phase 1 reviews assess the quality of a jurisdiction’s legal and regulatory framework for the exchange of information, while Phase 2 reviews look at the practical implementation of that framework. Some Global Forum members are undergoing combined – Phase 1 plus Phase 2 – reviews. The ultimate goal is to help jurisdictions to effectively implement the international standards of transparency and exchange of information for tax purposes.
The Phase 2 review shows that Saint Vincent and the Grenadines has a comprehensive legal framework and sound practices for the exchange of information for tax purposes and received an overall rating of largely compliant. The monitoring as carried out by Saint Vincent and the Grenadines authorities generally ensures that ownership and banking information is available according to the standard. Saint Vincent and the Grenadines has made some legal amendments to bridge the gaps pointed out in its Phase 1 report, especially with respect to accounting information. The report recommends that Saint Vincent and the Grenadines monitors its new laws to ensure that it exchanges all types of information in line with the international standard. During the review period Saint Vincent and the Grenadines received only two requests which it answered in a timely manner. Saint Vincent and the Grenadines has limited experience in exchange of information. Nonetheless Saint Vincent and the Grenadines has put in place organisational processes and committed resources for handling exchange of information requests. Saint Vincent and the Grenadines should report steps taken to address the recommendations made in the Phase 2 report within twelve months. For further information on Saint Vincent and the Grenadines’ exchange of information practices click here.