Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes

How the Global Forum operates

In order to ensure the effective implementation of the international standards in transparency and exchange of information for tax purposes the Global Forum conducts rigorous peer reviews, issuing recommendations where issues are identified, and provides technical assistance to support its members in implementing the standards.

Decision-making

Each member’s voice counts equally as the Global Forum plenary is the only decision-making body and each decision requires consensus (minus one, in some cases) amongst members.

Working groups

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Technical work

The Global Forum created the Peer Review Group (PRG) and the Automatic Exchange of Information Peer Review Group (APRG) to take forward its technical work to ensure the effective implementation of its standards. The main work of the PRG and the APRG is to oversee the peer reviews in relation to the tax transparency standards.

 

EOIR Standard Review Process

The review process consists of assessment teams (which include two assessors from member jurisdictions supported by the Secretariat) conducting a detailed review of the legal framework each jurisdiction has in place to facilitate EOIR as well the effectiveness of the operation of the EOIR standard in practice. This includes the analysis of input from each jurisdiction’s exchange partners and information obtained during an on-site visit. The assessment team then prepares a report including recommendations with respect to areas requiring improvement. The report is submitted to the PRG for approval, where the assessment team and the assessed jursidiction can present their positions, and, once approved, the report is submitted to the Global Forum for adoption.

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AEOI Standard Review Process

The Global Forum has so far only assessed the domestic and international legal frameworks put in place to implement the standard. This process has consisted of the Secretariat conducting the analysis, proposing recommendations where any gaps are identified, before the analysis is shared with all jurisdicitons implementing the AEOI Standard for comment. The analysis is then submitted to the AEOI Group for approval before being submitted to all jurisdictions implementing the AEOI Standard for endorsement. The Global Forum will soon move to reviewing the effectiveness of the implementation of the AEOI Standard in practice.

The Global Forum also reviews the confidentiality and data safeguards standards in place in each jurisdiction with a particular focus on the policies and systems in place. It has conducted pre-exchange assessments of all jursidciotns to provide comfort for exchanges to commence and has commenced post-exchange reviews to assess the policies and systems in practice. The reviews have been conducted by a group of experts (including legal, operational and cybersecurity experts) from member jursidcitions, supported by the Secretariat. Where issues are identified then exchange partners are no longer expected to send information to the jursidciton concerned until the issues are successfully addressed. 

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How we provide assistance

Technical assistance and capacity building activities

The technical assistance activities provided by the Global Forum Secretariat and its partners are varied, targeted and adapted to the needs of each member. They mainly consist of:

  • skills support activities, which build the skills of tax administration focusing on the needs of a particular jurisdiction and covering legislative, organisational and administrative assistance;

  • peer-to-peer learning between tax administrations, which takes the form of regional training seminars and competent authority meetings, focusing on issues such as awareness, auditor knowledge-building and putting in place effective exchange of information systems and procedures;

  • developing tools, which support members’ implementation of the international standards, such as practical guidelines and work manuals; and

  • supporting the effective use of the information exchanged to tackle tax evasion and other illicit financial flows and secure revenue, including through national and regional seminars and bespoke support on the effective use of the information received.

» Access our guidance material, e-learning courses and virtual classes

» Technical assistance for EOIR

» Technical assistance for AEOI

» Technical assistance on Confidentiality and Data Safeguards

Regional initiatives

Regional technical assistance programmes are provided by the Global Forum Secretariat in collaboration with regional organisations. They are essential partners in building trust, long term relationships and capacity for transparency and exchange of information for tax purposes. Programmes are currently being run, or in preparation, for the following regions:

  • Africa
  • Asia-Pacific
  • Latin America and the Caribbean
  • Middle East

The first regional initiative launched by the Global Forum is the Africa Initiative, which is also therefore its most advanced. This has included significant engagement at ministerial level to ensure political buy-in and sustained momentum. This is reflected in the Yaoundé Declaration, that provides support to the fight against illicit financial flows from Africa. The ministerial engagement in the Latin America initiative is demonstrated by the Punta del Este Declaration, in relation to maximising the effective use of the information exchanged under the international tax transparency standards to tackle tax evasion, corruption and other financial crimes.

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