Common Technical Solutions


Automatic exchange of information for tax purposes requires the standardisation of technical reporting formats so that information can be captured, exchanged and processed quickly and efficiently in a cost-effective manner.  In addition, secure and compatible methods of transmission and encryption of the data must be in place.

Over the past 20 years the OECD has designed and updated standards for Automatic Exchange of the income types found in the OECD Model Tax Convention. The Standard for Automatic Exchange of Financial Account Information in Tax Matters, developed in response to the G20 request and approved by the OECD Council on 15 July 2014, calls on jurisdictions to obtain information from their financial institutions and automatically exchange that information with other jurisdictions on an annual basis. It sets out the financial account information to be exchanged, the financial institutions required to report, the different types of accounts and taxpayers covered, as well as common due diligence procedures to be followed by financial institutions. 

At present countries are using:

  • the OECD 1997 Standard Magnetic Format (SMF) and
  • the OECD Standard Transmission Format (STF 2.1).

User Guides assist in the implementation of those standards. As the SMF continued to be used bridging programs between the two standards were also available and regularly updated. They are designed to enable countries able to work only with SMF to transform information they receive in STF into SMF files and vice versa.

N.B. : The SMF is now in the process of being phased out. Since  1 January 2012, countries have been using  the STF 2.1 and bridging programme version 1.0  for new exchanges. STF 2.1  (used for exchange as of 1 January 2012)

 As of 1 April 2015, countries should use the new version of STF:

This bridge will be the last one to be provided by the OECD since the SMF is in the process of being phased out. The changes which were included in STF 2.2 consist in additional ISO country and currency codes.