Joint International Taskforce on Shared Intelligence and Collaboration

The JITSIC brings together 37 of the world's national tax administrations that have committed to more effective and efficient ways to deal with tax avoidance. It offers a platform to enable its members to actively collaborate within the legal framework of effective bilateral and multilateral conventions and tax information exchange agreements – sharing their experience, resources and expertise to tackle the issues they face in common.

Open to all members of the OECD's Forum on Tax Administration (FTA), the JITSIC operates through a Single Point of Contact (SPOC) in each country. It is supported by the FTA Secretariat based at the OECD.

JITSIC was originally established in 2004 as the Joint International Tax Shelter Information Centre to combat cross-border tax avoidance. Building on its initial achievements, the JITSIC was re-established in 2014 with many new members from across the FTA.

 

 

  As FTA Vice Chair with sponsorship of the JITSIC, I am committed to ensuring the expanded network continues to build on the significant achievements of the past year.

The new network is a growing assembly of FTA members with a global mind-set for tackling tax evasion and aggressive tax avoidance. It is an avenue for sharing, learning and taking co-ordinated cross-border compliance action.

The best outcomes for our countries and the international tax system will be achieved by working together. 

How the JITSIC operates

The JITSIC provides tax administrations with an agile mechanism for information exchange and collaboration, while ensuring that all exchanges of information are in accordance with the provisions of an effective bilateral or multilateral tax convention or a tax information exchange agreement. Membership of the JITSIC entails an active commitment to sharing information and intelligence.

JITSIC members must appoint a Single Point of Contact (SPOC) with responsibility for managing the country’s JITSIC interactions.

The JITSIC develops best practices for engagement among tax administrations in order to enhance the quality of interactions and reduce the need for tax administrations to negotiate an engagement framework every time they want to collaborate with another country.

Membership

The JITSIC is open on a voluntary basis to members of the Forum on Tax Administration. The current members are:

  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Canada
  • Chile
  • China
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • India
  • Ireland
  • Israel
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Korea
  • Luxembourg
  • Malaysia
  • Mexico
  • Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • Norway
  • Portugal
  • Russia
  • Slovak Republic
  • South Africa
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Turkey
  • United Kingdom
  • United States

The original JITSIC

The JITSIC is an initiative of the OECD's Forum on Tax Administration (FTA).

JITSIC began in 2004 as the Joint International Tax Shelter Information Centre, a joint initiative of the revenue authorities of Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States to facilitate the ongoing work of tax administrations in countering abusive tax schemes and tax avoidance structures.

Japan, the Republic of Korea, China, France, and Germany all subsequently joined, boosting the capacity of the Network to share expertise in identifying potentially abusive tax arrangements. The first JITSIC office was in Washington DC, and a second office opened in London as membership in the original JITSIC expanded.

JITSIC was influential in developing strategies for early identification and deterrence. It helped increase public awareness of civil and criminal risks associated with promoting and investing in abusive tax schemes.

Under the JITSIC framework, Competent Authorities in each member administration were able to exchange and analyse information under double tax conventions on a real time basis in a co-ordinated and collaborative way.

Abusive tax structures investigated under the JITSIC framework included cross-border investment and financing arrangements, foreign tax credit generation and other schemes, and high net worth individuals involved in the potential exploitation of trust structures and offshore arrangements. In addition, the member administrations collaborated to improve transfer pricing compliance and share best practices.

The remodelled work

Meeting in 2014, the heads of 46 tax administrations working together through the FTA set out a new strategy for enhanced co-operation to combat cross-border tax avoidance. Building on the success of the original JITSIC, the member countries agreed to establish the JITSIC Network, with a wider focus on information exchange and collaboration on areas of common concern. Reflecting this change, JITSIC was renamed as the Joint International Tax Shelter Information & Collaboration Network.

Subsequently, at the tenth meeting of the FTA in 2016, JITSIC was renamed as the Joint International Taskforce on Shared Intelligence and Collaboration (retaining the JITSIC abbreviation). The JITSIC now has 36 member countries, providing much greater scope for tax administrations to exchange information and undertake collaborative casework. It has also moved away from an operating model based on co-located representatives of the member countries, instead establishing a network of SPOCs based mostly in their home countries.

Case study

Tax officials from 13 JITSIC administrations made a decision to work together on a project involving a structure that facilitates tax avoidance. After a number of phone conferences during which project members discussed concerns, expectations and objectives, a workshop was organised. 

The workshop was facilitated by the project lead and all members actively participated by sharing their knowledge on particular business structures they were familiar with and that they observed as facilitating tax avoidance. One member stated: "JITSIC has really helped our administration in getting to the right people at the right time, and the workshop really helped to solidify our connections and networks."

At the end of the workshop, each member noted having a greater understanding of the potential tax risks and this led to the identification of common issues. As a result there are multilateral and bilateral efforts to share information in many areas; information that perhaps might not have been shared had the project not commenced.

What was particularly invaluable was the enriched understanding that all project members left with. One member stated: "What has really been great for me is to learn more about how other administrations operate and to understand that we all face the same issues."

The 13 jurisdictions have agreed to continue to work collaboratively by exchanging information and jointly working enquiries to address tax risks. The project lead commented "It has been fantastic to see how JITSIC has brought us together to discuss issues and risks that are of common concern. Working collaboratively, l am confident that we can arrive at better solutions."