12/04/2022 - The Global Forum published today two new peer review reports on transparency and exchange of information on request (EOIR) for El Salvador and Gabon. Travel restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic having prevented assessors from performing on-site visits to evaluate the practical implementation of the international EOIR standard, the reports only cover the first phase of the assessment, analysing the jurisdictions’ legal and regulatory frameworks against the EOIR standard. Ratings for each of the ten elements of the assessment and overall ratings will be attributed at a later stage for both jurisdictions, once on-site visits are carried out and full reviews encompassing the implementation of the standard in practice can be undertaken.
Key findings and recommendations include:
El Salvador has a legal and regulatory framework in place that requires the availability of legal ownership, accounting and banking information, and generally ensures the exchange of relevant information for tax purposes in accordance with the standard. Since its previous peer review in 2016, El Salvador has made important improvements, notably by abolishing bearer shares in 2021 and through the ratification and subsequent coming into force of the Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters in June 2019. However, improvements are needed with regard to the availability of beneficial ownership information, which still relies on the limited information available through outdated customer due diligence obligations of banks and other financial institutions. Provisions in the Tax Code on access by the tax administration to information held by banks have been set aside by the Constitutional Court in 2018, which makes access more complicated and at times impossible. El Salvador is expected to ensure the tax administration can access information held by banks for tax exchanges purposes. Read the report
While Gabon’s legal framework generally requires that relevant information is available and that it can be accessed for tax purposes, improvements are required in a number of areas. In particular, Gabon does not yet have an adequate network of international instruments allowing the exchange of information, as too few of the treaties signed by the country have entered into force. Deficiencies were also identified on the availability of information on owners of bearer shares and on beneficial owners of relevant entities and arrangements. Further, Gabon should ensure that accounting and banking information is available for companies that have ceased to exist. Read the report
» Find out more about the peer review process
The Global Forum is the leading multilateral body mandated to ensure that jurisdictions around the world adhere to and effectively implement both the EOIR standard 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.
For further information, journalists should contact Pascal Saint-Amans, Director of the OECD Centre for Tax Policy and Administration, (+33 1 45 24 91 08), or Zayda Manatta, Head of the Global Forum Secretariat, (+33 1 45 24 82 29).