Implementing the Tax Transparency Standards

Implementing the Tax Transparency Standards

A Handbook for Assessors and Jurisdictions You do not have access to this content

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Author(s):
OECD
Publication Date :
06 July 2010
Pages :
224
ISBN :
9789264088016 (PDF) ; 9789264088009 (print)
DOI :
10.1787/9789264088016-en

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This handbook is intended to assist the assessment teams and the reviewed jurisdictions that are participating in the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information (the "Global Forum") peer reviews and non-member reviews.  It provides contextual background information on the Global Forum and the peer review process.  It also contains relevant key documents and authoritative sources that will guide assessors and reviewed jurisdictions throughout the peer review process.  Assessors should be familiar with the information and documents contained in this handbook as it will assist in conducting proper and fair assessments.  This handbook is also a unique source of information for governments, academics and others interested in transparency and exchange of information for tax purposes.
  • Expand / Collapse Hide / Show all Abstracts Introduction

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      The Peer Review Process
      All members of the Global Forum, as well as jurisdictions identified by the Global Forum as relevant to its work, are undergoing reviews of their implementation of the standards of transparency and exchange of information in tax matters. The reviews take place in two phases. Phase 1 reviews examine the legal and regulatory framework for transparency and the exchange of information for tax purposes. Phase 2 reviews look into the implementation of the standards in practice. Combined reviews evaluate both the legal and regulatory framework (Phase 1) and the implementation of the standards in practice (Phase 2).
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      Key Documents of the Global Forum for Peer Reviews
      This section briefly describes the core documents elaborated by the Global Forum for conducting the reviews, authoritative sources setting out the standards on transparency and effective exchange of information for tax purposes, and additional sources that may be useful to assessors, the Peer Review Group and the Global Forum in applying the standards in the peer review process. Copies of these documents can be found following this overview.
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      Terms of Reference
      The Global Forum met on 1-2 September 2009 in Mexico and agreed in its Summary of Outcomes on a restructuring of the Global Forum and a three-year mandate to establish a robust and comprehensive peer review process to monitor and review progress made towards full and effective exchange of information.
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      Methodology
      The Global Forum at its 1-2 September 2009 meeting in Mexico decided to engage in a robust and comprehensive monitoring and peer review process. In order to carry out an in-depth monitoring and peer review of the implementation of the standards of transparency and exchange of information for tax purposes, the Global Forum agreed on the setting up of a Peer Review Group (PRG). The Global Forum agreed that the PRG would develop detailed terms of reference and the methodology for a robust, transparent and accelerated process.
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      Assessment Criteria
      The Terms of Reference note breaks down the standards of transparency and exchange of information into 10 essential elements under three broad categories: (A) availability of information; (B) access to information; and (C) exchanging information. This note establishes a system for assessing the implementation of the standards that corresponds to the Global Forum’s goals of achieving effective exchange of information and to the subject and structure of the review process for both Global Forum members and non-members. Briefly, Phase 1 reviews will lead to an assessment of the jurisdictions’ legal and regulatory framework, accompanied where necessary by recommendations for improvement. Phase 2 reviews will assess the application of the standards in practice, along with recommendations related to all of the categories, and will ultimately lead to a rating of each of the essential elements along with an overall rating. This note must be read in conjunction with the Terms of Reference and Methodology notes.
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  • Expand / Collapse Hide / Show all Abstracts Sources of Standards

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      Article 26 of the OECD Model Tax Convention on Income and on Capital and its Commentary
      The competent authorities of the Contracting States shall exchange such information as is foreseeably relevant for carrying out the provisions of this Convention or to the administration or enforcement of the domestic laws concerning taxes of every kind and description imposed on behalf of the Contracting States, or of their political subdivisions or local authorities, insofar as the taxation thereunder is not contrary to the Convention. The exchange of information is not restricted by Articles 1 and 2.
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      The 2002 Model Agreement on Exchange of Information on Tax Matters and its Commentary
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      Enabling Effective Exchange of Information
      Exchange of information for tax purposes is effective when reliable information, foreseeably relevant to the tax requirements of a requesting jurisdiction is available, or can be made available, in a timely manner and there are legal mechanisms that enable the information to be obtained and exchanged. This requires clear rules regarding the maintenance of accounting records and access to such records.
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      The 2006 OECD Manual on Information Exchange
      The goal of the present manual is to provide officials dealing with exchange of information for tax purposes with an overview of the operation of exchange of information provisions and some technical and practical guidance, in order to improve the efficiency of such exchanges. The Manual may also be helpful in connection with training programs and may provide useful guidance to tax administrations in designing or revising their own manuals.
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      The 2006 OECD Manual on Information Exchange
      Exchange of information on request describes a situation where one competent authority asks for particular information from another competent authority. Typically, the information requested relates to an examination, inquiry or investigation of a taxpayer’s tax liability for specified tax years.
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      The OECD's Project on Harmful Tax Practices
      This section of the handbook contains an application note on Transparency and Effective Exchange of Information. The notes an extract from a Consolidated Application Note which was developed to provide guidance to assist in the evaluation of preferential regimes in OECD member countries on a generic basis.
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