Who we are and what we do
The Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes is the multilateral framework within which work on transparency and exchange of information for tax purposes has been carried out by both OECD and non-OECD economies since 2000. Since its restructuring in 2009, the Global Forum has become the key international body working on the implementation of the international standards on tax transparency. The Global Forum ensures that these high standards of transparency and exchange of information for tax purposes are in place around the world through its monitoring and peer review activities. In order to ensure a worldwide participation in the benefits of increased tax transparency and international co-operation and in order to ensure that developing countries benefit from the new tax transparent environment, the Global Forum has a technical assistance programme for its members.
There are two internationally agreed standards on exchange of information for tax purposes:
» Exchange of Information on Request (EOIR)
» Automatic Exchange of Information (AEOI)
The Global Forum currently has 161 members participating on an equal footing, together with 19 observers. All member jurisdictions have committed to implementing the international standard on EOIR. The Global Forum conducts rigorous assessments of compliance with this standard, according to the elements set out in its Terms of Reference. In addition, over 100 countries and jurisdictions have committed to implementing the new standard on AEOI. Work is currently underway to implement this Standard, with the first exchanges occurring on a very ambitious timeline of 2017 and 2018. The implementation of these international standards significantly contributes to the fight against tax evasion, as well as achieving greater international co-operation and enhanced transparency of corporate bodies, arrangements and financial information.
Watch our video: Implementing tax transparency standards to fight offshore tax evasion
Global Forum Secretariat
The Global Forum has a self-standing dedicated Secretariat, based in the OECD’s Centre for Tax Policy and Administration, in Paris, France. The Head of the Global Forum Secretariat is Ms Zayda Manatta from Brazil.
As its membership has expanded, the Secretariat has also expanded and currently includes around 40 members of staff from around 20 member jurisdictions that speak over 10 languages. They come from a variety of backgrounds including from national finance ministries, tax administrations, legal and advisory firms and academia.
Global Forum plenary
The Global Forum plenary (i.e. including all of its members) is the sole decision-making body of the Global Forum. The Chair of the Global Forum is Spain (Ms Maria José Garde). In order to facilitate its work, the Global Forum has established three subsidiary groups focusing on different aspects of the Global Forum’s work, all of which report back to the Global Forum including with any proposals for adoption by the Global Forum.
The Steering Group prepares and guides the future work of the Global Forum. The Steering Group is composed of the Chair (Spain, Ms Maria José Garde, Chair) and the Vice-Chairs of the Global Forum (Barbados, Italy and Japan), along with 15 other members. The Steering Group also includes the Chair of the Peer Review Group (Ms. Huey Min Chia-Tern from Singapore) and the Chair of the AEOI Group (Mr David Pitaro from Italy).
Peer Review Group (PRG Group)
The Peer Review Group (PRG) overseas the Global Forum’s peer reviews in relation to the EOIR Standard. It consists of 30 members of the Global Forum. The PRG is currently chaired by Singapore (Ms Huey Min Chia-Tern), assisted by four Vice-Chairs (the Cayman Islands, India, the United Kingdom and the United States). The PRG meets three to four times a year, discusses and approves the peer review reports and proposals on other matters related to the review of the EOIR Standard, which are then submitted for adoption by the Global Forum.
Automatic Exchange of Information Peer Review Group (APRG)
The Automatic Exchange of Information Peer Review Group (APRG) was recently established to take forward the work on peer reviews against the AEOI standard previously carried out by the AEOI Group. Its main tasks include drawing conclusions on the legal frameworks of the Global Forum members that have committed to implement the standard with a specific date and put domestic legislations in place (AEOI Peers), and assessing their effective implementation in practice.
The APRG is comprised of 34 members from the AEOI Peers and 3 additional members (Georgia, Uganda and the United States) involved in its work to the extent it relates to confidentiality and data safeguards. The APRG is chaired by Canada (Mr. Bruce Snider), assisted by two Vice-Chairs (Jersey and the United Kingdom). It has a two-year mandate running to the end of 2021 when the first round of AEOI effectiveness reviews are due to be completed. The APRG meets three to four times a year to discuss and approve peer review reports, which are then submitted to the AEOI Peers for adoption.