In series:Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes: Peer Reviewsview more titles
Published on August 03, 2015
Also available in: French
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 legal and regulatory framework for the availability of information in Burkina Faso is generally in place. However, deficiencies have been identified regarding the availability of ownership information for bearer shares. A recent amendment to the legislation requires all securities including bearer shares to be dematerialised, but lacks clarity on the practical arrangements to ensure that the dematerialisation process will be effective for all shares during the transition period. Also, there are no enforcement measures to ensure the keeping of the share register by public limited companies and simplified joint-stock companies. The review recommends changes to address these. The Burkinabe tax administration has sufficient powers to gather information for the purpose of exchange with treaty partners; even if Burkina Faso does not have an interest in gathering such information for its own tax purposes. The report recommends improvements in the EOI network to ensure Burkina Faso has agreements to the standard with all relevant partners. Burkina Faso’s response to the recommendations made in this review, as well as the application of the legal framework and the implementation of the international standard in practice, will be considered in detail in the Phase 2 review of Burkina Faso, which is scheduled to commence in the fourth quarter of 2015. For further information on the exchange of information practice of Burkina Faso and to read the full report click here.