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UAE Moves Forward On Tax Information Exchange

by Lorys Charalambous,, Cyprus

02 June 2014

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has begun the second stage of its work on the development of a framework to effectively exchange tax information, the Ministry of Finance (MoF) said.

Noting a recent positive assessment on its adoption of international standards in the area by the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information, Younis Haji Al Khouri, Undersecretary of MoF, said: "This achievement was only possible through the UAE Cabinet's decision No.12 issued in 2010 and amended in 2012, whereby the Ministry is authorized to collect and exchange information and data on natural persons and legal entities licensed to operate in the UAE, including free zones, and through the signing of an MoU with the UAE Free Zones and Central Bank."

The undersecretary said that the UAE has met all the requirements of its Phase One Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) peer review assessment. The Phase Two assessment concerns how effectively the UAE exchanges tax information in practice.

Discussing the UAE's efforts to date, Khalid Ali Al Bustani, Assistant Undersecretary of the International Financial Relations Sector at MoF, said: "The Ministry held several coordination meetings since 2012, in the presence of all relevant ministries and UAE free zones, to discuss the potential of peer group evaluations as well as the ownership of information by the Ministry and the companies, institutions and free zones' commitment to keep records of their business operations and accountings to a period of no less than five years."

He added: "Discussion was also made on the ease of obtaining banking information upon the request of a state who has signed a bilateral agreement with the UAE. The total number of bilateral agreements amounted to 75 and includes all strategic and trading partners from the European Union, Asia, Arab countries, Latin American countries, post-Soviet states, and Canada."

TAGS: United Arab Emirates | compliance | Finance | tax | business | tax compliance | accounting | banking | agreements

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