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OECD Global Forum Discusses Tax Transparency Progress

by Ulrika Lomas, Tax-News.com, Brussels

17 November 2017


200 delegates from more than 90 delegations met in Yaounde, Cameroon, on November 15-17, 2017, for the 10th meeting of the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes, which now includes 147 countries and jurisdictions.

At the meeting, the Global Forum adopted the first report on the status of implementation of the OECD's new standard on the automatic exchange of tax information (AEOI), the Common Reporting Standard, with 50 countries recently having begun exchanging information and a further 53 countries to start exchanging data in September 2018.

The Global Forum published peer reviews of Curacao, Denmark, India, Isle of Man, Italy, and Jersey in relation to their compliance with the OECD's earlier standard, providing for tax information exchange between countries on request. The publications bring to a total of 16 the number of second round reviews of the Forum's 147 member countries and jurisdictions based on its international standard of transparency and exchange of financial account information on request (EOIR standard). These phase two reviews look at how the territories exchange tax information with other countries in practice to support efforts to tackle fiscal crime.

The standard was reinforced last year to tackle tax evasion more effectively, particularly in areas covering the concept of beneficial ownership.

The Isle of Man, Italy, and Jersey were all deemed to be compliant with the standard, with Jersey singled out for praise for making changes to its framework to move from being largely compliant to compliant and being compliant in all rated areas.

India and Denmark were rated largely compliant while Curacao received a partially compliant rating.

Delegates at the Yaounde meeting also agreed that the countries and jurisdictions working within the Global Forum as well as within the Inclusive Framework on Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) could provide support to the European Union on its current listing exercise to identify third country jurisdictions that fail to comply with tax governance standards.

It was agreed that the key focus of the Global Forum in 2018 will be on the full and timely delivery of the commitments made by the jurisdictions scheduled to commence AEOI exchanges in 2018, the development of the framework for the full AEOI peer reviews and progress towards implementation of the AEOI Standard by developing-country members. Furthermore, in relation to the EOIR Standard, the Global Forum will deliver further reports in the second round of EOIR peer review. Ensuring progress in the availability of and access to beneficial ownership information will also be at the centre of the Global Forum's EOIR and AEOI assessments and technical assistance work.

The Global Forum agreed that its next meeting will take place in October or November 2018 in Uruguay. This was therefore the last meeting of the Global Forum before automatic exchange of information is fully rolled out. Only four countries that have agreed to AEOI will implement automatic information exchange later: Peru, in 2019; and Albania, Maldives, and Nigeria, in 2020.

TAGS: Isle of Man | compliance | tax | Denmark | India | Maldives | Niger | Nigeria | Uruguay | Albania | Jersey | Cameroon | Italy | Peru | standards | Europe | Tax | BEPS

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