21/12/2017 - In 2014, the OECD and the G20 approved the Common Reporting Standard (CRS), which is the basis for the automatic annual exchange of information on offshore financial accounts to the tax authorities of the residence country of account holders. At present, over 100 jurisdictions have publicly committed to implement the CRS, with half of them having started the exchange of CRS information in September and a further 53 set to follow in 2018.
The implementation of the CRS requires both domestic legislation to ensure that financial institutions correctly identify and report accounts held by non-residents, and an international legal framework for the automatic exchange of CRS information. The preferred route to put the international legal framework in place is through the CRS Multilateral Competent Authority Agreement (CRS MCAA), which defines the scope, timing, format and conditions for the exchange of CRS information and is based on the multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters, the prime instrument for cooperation in tax matters. At present, 97 jurisdictions have signed the CRS MCAA.
While the CRS MCAA is a multilateral agreement, exchange relationships for CRS information are bilateral in nature and are activated when both jurisdictions have the domestic framework for CRS exchange in place and have listed each other as intended exchange partners.
Today, we are pleased to announce that another series of bilateral exchange relationships was established under the CRS MCAA. In total, there are now over 2600 bilateral relationships for the automatic exchange of CRS information in place across the globe, up from over 2000 relationships at the last activation round four months ago. The full list of automatic exchange relationships that are currently in place under the CRS MCAA is available online.
39 of the 53 jurisdictions committed to first exchanges in 2018 have already put the international legal requirements in place to commence exchanges under the CRS MCAA next year, therewith doubling the number of 2018 jurisdictions that have their international legal framework in place since the last activation round in August. A further activation round for jurisdictions committed to a 2018 timeline is scheduled to take place in March which will allow the remaining jurisdictions to nominate the partners with which they will undertake automatic exchanges of CRS information in September next year.
Today's wave of activations of bilateral exchange relationships is a key milestone for the successful and timely implementation of the CRS in the 53 jurisdictions committed to first exchanges next year and the global implementation of the CRS as a prime tool to fight tax evasion.
To further support the consistent implementation of the Common Reporting Standard (CRS), the OECD today released a series of additional CRS-related Frequently Asked Questions.
Media queries should be directed to Pascal Saint-Amans, Director of the OECD Centre for Tax Policy and Administration (+33 6 26 30 49 23) or Achim Pross, Head of the International Co-operation and Tax Administration Division (+33 6 21 63 27 67).