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OECD Global Forum Moving On To Beneficial Ownership

by Jason Gorringe,, London

21 August 2017

The OECD's Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes has published the first 10 outcomes of a new and enhanced peer review process for assessing compliance with international tax transparency standards.

The new round of peer reviews – launched in mid-2016 – assesses countries' compliance with requests for exchange of information by tax authorities in other jurisdictions. The reviews follow a six-year process during which the Global Forum has assessed the legal and regulatory framework for information exchange (Phase 1) and the actual practices and procedures (Phase 2) in 119 jurisdictions worldwide.

The Global Forum's new peer review process combines the Phase 1 and Phase 2 elements into a single undertaking, with a new focus on an assessment of the availability of and access by tax authorities to beneficial ownership information of all legal entities and arrangements, in line with the Financial Action Task Force international standard, the OECD said.

The Global Forum reviewed exchange of information practices through combined peer review reports in 10 jurisdictions. Three jurisdictions – Ireland, Mauritius, and Norway – received an overall rating of "Compliant." Six others – Australia, Bermuda, Canada, Cayman Islands, Germany, and Qatar were rated "Largely Compliant." Jamaica was rated "Partially Compliant," leading the Global Forum to launch a supplementary report on follow-up measures to ensure a higher level of compliance.

The Global Forum says its members are working together to monitor and review implementation of the international standard for the automatic exchange of financial account information, under the Common Reporting Standard, which will start in September 2017. The monitoring and review process is intended to ensure the effective and timely delivery of commitments made, the confidentiality of information exchanged, and to identify areas where support is needed.

The Global Forum is also assisting developing country members to ensure they can also receive the benefits of the ongoing global move to automatic exchange of financial account information.

The Global Forum is the continuation of a forum which was created in the early 2000s in the context of the OECD's work to address the risks to tax compliance posed by non-cooperative jurisdictions. It now has 144 members on equal footing and is the premier international body for ensuring the implementation of the internationally agreed standards of transparency and exchange of information in the tax area.

TAGS: compliance | tax | tax information exchange agreement (TIEA) | tax compliance | Ireland | Mauritius | Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) | Australia | Bermuda | Cayman Islands | Jamaica | Norway | Qatar | agreements | Canada | Germany | G20 | standards | Tax

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