03/02/2021 – Albania started exchanges under the standard of automatic exchange of financial account information (AEOI) in 2020. In 2014, Albania was among the few non-G20 developing countries, which do not host a financial centre, to commit to implement the AEOI Standard also known as the Common Reporting Standard (CRS) by a specific date. To support its commitment, it benefitted from a pilot project with Italy and the Secretariat of the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes (Global Forum).
During its AEOI implementation, Albania received comprehensive assistance on legal and practical aspects, including information security management, from the Italian Revenue Agency (Agenzia delle Entrate), the fully owned IT company of the Ministry of Economy and Finance (Società Generale d’Informatica – SOGEI) and the Global Forum Secretariat.
With the strong support of Italy and the Global Forum Secretariat, and thanks to the continued commitment of Albania, the pilot project successfully ended in 2020.
Ms Fabrizia LAPECORELLA, Director-General of Department of Finance of Italy, and Mr Ernesto Maria RUFFINI, Director-General of Revenue Agency of Italy stated that: “Italy welcomes the great result obtained by Albania by meeting the 2020 deadline for starting its CRS exchanges. Italy is glad to have had the opportunity to support Albania and to cooperate with the Global Forum Secretariat for the achievement of this important milestone toward the implementation of the international tax transparency framework”.
Ms Zayda MANATTA, Head of the Global Forum Secretariat, stated that: “Thanks to the commitment of Albania and the great support provided by Italy, this successful AEOI project offered several important lessons that will help future projects with developing countries to implement the AEOI standard, which despite being demanding, is also extremely promising in terms of boosting tax compliance and revenue mobilization”.
This is only the first part of Albania’s AEOI journey. The country’s tax authorities will be provided with further assistance to receive and effectively use the AEOI data, and to fully benefit from this standard.
H.E. Ms Anila DENAJ, Minister of Finance and Economy of Albania, stated that: “The implementation of automatic exchange in Albania was an ambitious project that was successfully completed thanks to the full support of our precious partners, Italy and the Global Forum Secretariat. This project enabled Albania to strengthen its technical capacities and its confidentiality framework. Now our goal is to receive and effective use financial information in 2021, and then improve tax compliance”.
The Global Forum is the leading multilateral body mandated to ensure that jurisdictions around the world adhere to and effectively implement both the standard of transparency and exchange of information on request and the standard of automatic exchange of information. These objectives are achieved through a robust monitoring and peer review process. The Global Forum also runs an extensive technical assistance programme to support its members in implementing the standards and help tax authorities make the best use of cross-border information sharing channels.
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