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The Andorran Government has announced the signing of the OECD Multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters.
Adopted in Strasbourg on January 25, 1998, and modified by an amending protocol in May 2010, the agreement was signed in Paris by the Ambassador of Andorra to France, Maria Ubach, on behalf of the Andorran Government.
According to the Andorran Government, the signing of the Convention forms part of ongoing policy, sealed back in 2009 with the signing of the Paris Declaration, reflecting Andorra's commitment to international standards on financial transparency and representing "a new expression of this political will." The policy aims to consolidate the reputation and strength of the Principality's financial center, thereby expanding its growth potential.
Concluding, the Andorran Government emphasized that the existing 21 bilateral tax information exchange agreements concluded by Andorra will remain in place in their current form. The OECD agreement will now be subject to the constitutional ratification process in order to take effect, the Government ended.
The OECD recommended back in 2009 that all countries sign the Convention. However, following the review that took place in 2010, the instrument became the main and most advanced tool for mutual assistance in tax matters, facilitating the establishment of a level playing field.
The Multilateral Convention provides for all forms of mutual assistance: exchange on request, spontaneous exchange, tax examinations abroad, simultaneous tax examinations, and assistance in tax collection, while protecting taxpayers' rights. It also provides the option to undertake automatic exchange, requiring an agreement between the parties interested in adopting this form of assistance.
OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurria welcomed Andorra's steps to strengthen international tax cooperation after it became the 60th signatory to the Multilateral Convention.
Gurria said: "Andorra has taken many positive steps towards greater tax transparency in the past four years."
Alluding to the fact that the signing marks "an important signal that Andorra is seriously committed to the international fight against offshore tax avoidance and evasion," Gurria noted that the rapid increase in signatories to the Convention reflects "the growing levels of international support for exchange of information on request, and foreshadows that automatic exchange of information will become the new international standard."
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