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Chile: New Bank Information Law Meets OECD Tax Standard

by Mike Godfrey, Tax-News.com, Washington

15 December 2009


A new law on access to bank information will enable Chile to exchange banking information under existing tax treaties, thereby complying with the internationally agreed tax standard for exchange of information.

Accordingly, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has updated its progress report first issued in conjunction with the April G20 Summit, moving Chile into the category of jurisdictions that have substantially implemented the internationally agreed standard.

Chile has a network of more than 20 bilateral tax treaties that provide for exchange of information in tax matters. Until now, however, legal restrictions prevented Chile’s tax authorities from obtaining and exchanging certain kinds of bank information in non-criminal tax cases.

The new law granting Chilean tax authorities access to all bank information was published in the Official Gazette of the Republic of Chile on December 5. It is now in force and will be applicable as of January 1, 2010.

Welcoming the legislation, OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría said: “I am very pleased to see that, as part of Chile becoming an OECD Member, Chile’s legal framework was upgraded and brought in line with best international practices. Chile is now part of an international movement in favor of tax transparency and exchange of information.”

Chile is one of five countries, along with Estonia, Israel, the Russian Federation and Slovenia, that are negotiating to become members of the OECD. Compliance with the internationally agreed tax standard for exchange of information had been a key element in its accession negotiations.

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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