18/04/2008 - Germany has joined 15 other countries in signing the OECD-Council of Europe Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters, in a step that will help it to combat cross-border tax evasion more effectively in today’s open global economy.
The Convention, covering both direct and indirect taxes, enables tax administrations in participating countries to work together to enforce national tax laws by exchanging information, engaging in multilateral simultaneous tax examinations and helping each other in tax collection. It respects the fundamental rights of taxpayers by safeguarding the confidentiality of the information exchanged.
“With the signing of this convention, the German tax administration improves significantly its network of international cooperation in tax matters, particularly vis-à-vis non-EU-countries, Germany’s Secretary of State in the Federal Ministry of Finance, Dr. Axel Nawrath, said in a statement. “This allows for a more effective prosecution of international tax evasion and tax fraud.”
OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría welcomed Germany's signature of the Convention. “Given the Convention’s multilateral nature,” he noted, “its benefits grow as more countries join. It is a valuable instrument in addressing tax evasion schemes that often involve more than two countries or are replicated in different countries.”
The Convention is open for signature to Council of Europe member states and OECD member countries. The Parties to the Convention are: Azerbaijan, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Iceland, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States. Canada and Ukraine have signed the Convention and are still in the process of ratification.
For further information, please contact: at OECD, Jeffrey Owens, Director of OECD’s Centre for Tax Policy and Administration (e-mail: Jeffrey.owens @ oecd.org; tel. +33 1 45 24 91 08); at the Council of Europe, Press Division (e-mail: pressunit @ coe.int; tel.: +33 3 88 41 25 60).