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OECD Reviews Tax Transparency

by Ulrika Lomas, Tax-News.com, Brussels

23 March 2010


18 countries participating in the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information have been included in the first phase of a peer review process.

The first 18 jurisdictions are Australia, Barbados, Bermuda, Botswana, Canada, Cayman Islands, Denmark, Germany, India, Ireland, Jamaica, Jersey, Mauritius, Monaco, Norway, Panama, Qatar, Trinidad & Tobago.

The reviews are a first step in a three-year process approved in February by the Global Forum. In addition to a complete schedule of forthcoming reviews, the Global Forum has published three other key documents:

  • The Terms of Reference explaining the information exchange standard countries must meet;
  • The Methodology for the conduct of the reviews; and
  • The Assessment criteria explaining how countries will be rated.

OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría welcomed this new step forward and said: "The Global Forum has been quick to respond to the G20 call for a robust peer review mechanism aimed at ensuring rapid implementation of the OECD standard on information exchange. This is the most comprehensive peer review process in the world, and it is based on decades of experience at the OECD of conducting reviews of this kind in many other areas of policy making. I look forward to seeing the first results later this year".

The Global Forum brings together 91 countries and territories, including both OECD and non-OECD countries. At a meeting in Mexico in September 2009, participants agreed that all members as well as identified non-members will undergo reviews on their implementation of the standard. These reviews will be carried out in two phases: assessment of the legislative and regulatory framework (phase 1) and assessment of the effective implementation in practice (phase 2).

The review reports will be published once they have been adopted by the Global Forum, whose next meeting will take place in Singapore at the end of September 2010.

Mike Rawstron, chair of the Global Forum, stated: “.... with these reviews we are putting international tax co-operation under a magnifying glass. The peer review process will identify jurisdictions that are not implementing the standards. These will be provided with guidance on the changes required and a deadline to report back on the improvements they have made”.

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
TAGS: tax | offshore confidentiality | tax information exchange agreement (TIEA) | Denmark | India | Ireland | Mauritius | Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) | Australia | Bermuda | Cayman Islands | Jamaica | Jersey | Mexico | Monaco | Norway | Qatar | Singapore | offshore | Botswana | Canada | Germany | G20 | standards | Barbados | Panama

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