MCM - Launch of the Declaration on Automatic Exchange of Information, Remarks by Angel Gurría, Secretary-General, OECD
Paris, 6 May 2014
Dear Ministers, Ladies and Gentlemen,
We all know that vast amounts of money are kept offshore by people and businesses who want to avoid or evade taxes in their home countries. While estimates vary, it is clear that the amounts at stake for both developed and developing countries are very large.
But the risk posed goes much deeper. Citizens’ trust in the fairness and integrity of the tax system is jeopardised, eroding the resilience of our institutions of governance. In turn, voluntary tax compliance by taxpayers, which is essential to effective tax administration, can be further undermined.
Since 2009, we have stepped up our efforts to support countries in their fight against international tax avoidance and evasion through, for example, the creation of the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes (“Global Forum”) with its robust peer review process. We have updated the Multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters and opened it up to all countries. We have also updated the OECD Model Tax Convention’s exchange of information provisions.
Today, your governments – and many of our Partners – have taken another major step forward by adopting the Declaration on Automatic Exchange of Information in Tax Matters. More than 60 jurisdictions are now committed to implementing what the G20 recognises as the single, global standard. And more are expected to join soon!
Already on 19th March of this year, more than 40 jurisdictions – the "early adopters" – signed up to an accelerated timetable for implementation which will see the first exchange of information by end-September 2017.
We are working to iron out the details – and to ensure a level playing field in the adoption of the new standard – with a view to have a concrete proposal on implementation ready for the G20 in September. Momentum is building for a global regime where tax evaders and avoiders have nowhere left to hide!
I congratulate you on this important step forward and thank you for your ongoing support.