About the Global Forum



The Background

The Global Forum has been the multilateral framework within which work in the area transparency and exchange of information has been carried out by both OECD and non-OECD economies since 2000. Click here to see the Global Forum Secretariat's Organisational Structure.

1996 G7 Lyon Summit: tackling harmful tax practices and tax havens
1998: OECD report, which includes a definition of tax havens
2000: OECD List of tax havens
2002: Committments to implement the standards allow jurisdictions in a newly created Global forum
2006-2010: Global Forum annual assessment
Since 2010: Global Forum peer reviews

The Global Forum’s main achievements have been the development of the standards of transparency and exchange of information through the publication of the Model Agreement on Exchange of Information on Tax Purposes in 2002 and the issuance of a paper setting out the standards for the maintenance of accounting records Enabling Effective Exchange of Information: Availability Standard and Reliability Standard developed by the Joint Ad Hoc Group on Accounts in 2005.


The Standards of Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes

>> Standards have been endorsed by all members of the Global Forum

>> The Standards require:

  • Existence of mechanisms for exchange of information upon request.
  • Availability of reliable information (in particular bank, ownership, identity and accounting information) and powers to obtain and provide such information in response to a specific request in a timely manner. 
  • Respect for safeguards and limitations and strict confidentiality rules for information exchanged.

The Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes -Mexico 2009

The Global Forum called together 178 delegates from 70 jurisdictions and international organisations on 1-2 September in Mexico to discuss progress made in implementing the international standards of transparency and exchange of information for tax purposes, and how to respond to international calls to strengthen the work of the Global Forum. In the context of the need of governments to protect their tax bases from non compliance with their tax laws, the main objectives for the meeting were to:

  • Agree on restructuring the OECD Global Forum to expand its membership and ensure its members participate on an equal footing;
  • Agree on how to establish an in-depth peer review process to monitor and review progress made towards full and effective exchange of information; and
  • Identify mechanisms to speed-up the negotiation and conclusion of agreements to exchange information and to enable developing countries to benefit from the new more cooperative tax environment.

The meeting was an unqualified success and the restructured Global Forum is moving quickly to put in place a peer review process. The ultimate goal of the Global Forum is to ensure that international standards of transparency and exchange of information for tax purposes are not only put in place, but that they operate effectively.