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The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has moved the Philippines to the list of jurisdictions that are considered to have ‘substantially implemented the internationally agreed tax standard’.
The Philippines passed important legislative changes earlier this year intended to allow it to meet the OECD standard. Those changes are embodied in the Republic Act 10021, which allows the Philippines’ Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) to exchange tax information with other revenue agencies abroad. For example, it authorizes the BIR to obtain information held by banks and other financial institutions, and such information can be requested without the necessity for a court order.
The OECD reported that the Philippines has a network of more than 30 agreements that provide for exchange of information in tax matters (TIEAs), but it was only until the Philippines recently issued regulations to implement the new legislation that its tax authorities could obtain and exchange information with other countries. The Philippines’ existing treaties can now meet the international standard.
Commenting on the latest development, Jeffrey Owens, Director of the OECD’s Centre for Tax Policy and Administration, said: “The Philippines has participated in the work of the Global Forum since 2005. I am very pleased to see that it has now upgraded its legislation to meet the international standard, reflecting the worldwide movement towards greater transparency and exchange of information.”
Owens also said that “there is a great deal of ongoing progress in jurisdictions’ domestic laws as well as signing exchange of information agreements as they move to implement the international standards.”
For example, the Cook Islands and France signed a TIEA earlier this month bringing to 12 the number of such agreements that the Cook Islands had signed in accordance with the international standard. As a result, the Cook Islands has now also moved into the category of jurisdictions that are considered to have substantially implemented the internationally agreed tax standard.
In addition, as a result of confirmation of the enactment earlier this year of the Income Tax Act (Amendment) Order 2010, which allows for the exchange of tax information between Brunei and other countries, Brunei is now ranked in the same category by the OECD.A comprehensive report in our Intelligence Report series, examining in depth the situation of offshore transparency and secrecy in a number of the most prominent jurisdictions, is available in the Lowtax Library at http://www.lowtaxlibrary.com/asp/subs_reports.asp and a description of the report can be seen at http://www.lowtaxlibrary.com/asp/description_report2.asp
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