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Australia, Antigua TIEA 'A Step Forward For Global Tax Transparency,' Says OECD

by Ulrika Lomas, Tax-News.com, Brussels

07 February 2007


The Tax and Information Exchange Agreement concluded between Australia and the Caribbean jurisdiction of Antigua and Barbuda marks another step forward in international efforts to implement the principles of transparency and exchange of information for tax purposes on a global basis, the OECD has commented.

The agreement was the second such arrangement entered into by Antigua and Barbuda, which signed a similar accord in 2000 with the United States. According to the OECD, this confirms Antigua and Barbuda’s commitment to high international standards, thereby reinforcing its stature as a responsible international financial centre.

Antigua and Barbuda became an important partner in the OECD’s initiative to improve transparency and exchange of information in tax matters in 2002, when it committed to work with OECD countries on developing these principles and to implement measures to support them.

Paolo Ciocca, Chairman of the OECD’s Committee on Fiscal Affairs and Co-Chair of the Global Forum, welcomed the agreement as reinforcing the growing trend toward greater transparency and international co-operation in tax matters.

“I congratulate both parties for strengthening their bilateral relationship and for joining together to counter abuse of the financial system,” Mr. Ciocca said in a statement.

“This is the first such agreement signed in 2007. I am confident that others will soon follow and that this is the start of a new phase in our work in which the principles we have developed are put into practice by all countries large and small," he added.

The OECD’s work in this area is designed to enable countries to fully and fairly enforce their tax laws. A total of 33 jurisdictions have committed to work with OECD countries under the auspices of the OECD’s Global Forum on Taxation to improve transparency and to establish effective information exchange for tax purposes. Many other countries and international organizations have also endorsed these principles. Current efforts are aimed at encouraging all countries to work towards the achievement of a global level playing by implementing high standards of transparency and exchange of information for tax purposes.

A recent report OECD report entitled 'Tax co-operation: Towards a Level Playing Field – 2006 Assessment by the Global Forum on Taxation' concluded that most countries have made considerable progress in implementing the transparency and exchange of information standards that the Global Forum wishes to see achieved.


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