Tax Co-operation

Towards a Level Playing Field

Frequency :
Annual
ISSN :
2077-5547 (online)
ISSN :
2077-5539 (print)
DOI :
10.1787/20775547
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This annual report prepared by the OECD's Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information reviews both OECD and selected non-OECD countries' legal and administrative frameworks in the areas of transparency and exchange of information for tax purposes. More than 80 countries are covered.
Also available in: French
 
Tax Co-operation 2010

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Tax Co-operation 2010

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Author(s):
OECD
Publication Date :
18 Oct 2010
Pages :
300
ISBN :
9789264086579 (PDF) ; 9789264086562 (print)
DOI :
10.1787/taxcoop-2010-en

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The Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes's  annual assessment of the legal and regulatory systems for the exchange of information in tax matters. This year’s edition covers more than 90 jurisdictions, including all OECD and G20 countries as well as all of the world’s major financial centres. New additions this year are Botswana, Brazil, Jamaica, Indonesia, Liberia and Qatar.

For each jurisdiction, the report sets out information on agreements that meet the international standard for information exchange in tax matters; access to bank information for tax purposes; access to ownership, identity and accounting information; and availability of ownership, identity and accounting information relating to companies, trusts, partnerships and foundations.

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    Foreword
    This report has been prepared by the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes, which includes both OECD and non-OECD jurisdictions. In 2006, the Global Forum published a review of 82 jurisdictions’ legal and administrative frameworks in the areas of transparency and exchange of information for tax purposes, entitled Tax Co-operation: Towards a Level Playing Field – 2006 Assessment by the Global Forum on Taxation. This report is the fifth annual assessment, and now covers 93 jurisdictions.
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    Executive summary
    The Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes (the Global Forum) last met in Mexico on 1 and 2 September 2009. At the meeting, 170 delegates from 70 jurisdictions and international organisations agreed to restructure the Global Forum and to establish an in-depth peer review process to monitor and review progress towards full and effective exchange of information. The restructured Global Forum now includes almost 100 jurisdictions which participate on an equal footing. The Global Forum is tasked with completing peer reviews of the progress made by its members and other relevant jurisdictions in implementing the international standards of transparency and exchange of information for tax purposes. The peer reviews will examine each jurisdiction’s legal and regulatory framework (Phase 1 reviews) and its practical implementation of the standards (Phase 2 reviews). The Global Forum launched the first peer reviews in March 2010 after having adopted a Schedule of Reviews, Methodology, Terms of Reference and a Note on Assessment Criteria.
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    2010: The year of implementation of the standards
    In 2010, the new Global Forum commenced in-depth peer reviews of its members and other relevant jurisdictions. The start of these two-phase reviews marks a key moment in the Global Forum’s history and in the world of transparency and information exchange for tax purposes. After ten years in which momentum for real change has been steadily building, the Global Forum’s peer-based review program will provide for the first time a detailed analysis of each jurisdiction’s laws and information exchange practices based on in-depth scrutiny by all the Global Forum’s members.
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    What's in this report
    In 2009 the Report included for the first time a "summary assessment" for each jurisdiction – an easy to read snapshot of a jurisdiction’s legal and administrative framework. These summary assessments have been included again in this year’s report. In addition, and consistent with previous years, the Report includes detailed information in the form of tables, which cover four main areas...
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    Summary assessments
    The information in the summary assessments is based on the jurisdiction tables which follow. These tables are current as of 30 June 2010.
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    Jurisdiction tables
    This section provides detailed information on the framework for transparency and exchange of information in each jurisdiction and is in the same format that has appeared in previous reports, with the exception of Table A. This information is divided into four broad categories as with the summary assessments. The first table, "A" table, provides information on the ability of jurisdictions to exchange information, either through international agreements such as double tax conventions and tax information exchange agreements. The second set of tables, "B" tables, provides information on the ability of tax authorities to access bank information. These tables describe whether bank secrecy is reinforced by statute, for what purposes bank information can be obtained and what procedures must be followed in order to do so. The last two sets of tables ("C" and "D" tables) provide information on the access to and availability of ownership, identity and accounting information for companies, partnerships, trusts and foundations. These tables include information on jurisdictions’ informationgathering powers, the existence of bearer securities and requirements to maintain legal or beneficial ownership information. The information in the jurisdiction tables is current as of 30 June 2010.
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    Annex A
    There are references in the tables and summary assessments to circumstances where countries are able to exchange or obtain information in relation to either criminal tax matters, civil tax matters or all tax matters. These terms refer to the matter to which the request for information relates. The term "criminal tax matters" means tax matters involving intentional conduct which is liable to prosecution under the criminal laws of the requesting jurisdiction. In this context the term "criminal laws" means all criminal laws designated as such under domestic law irrespective of whether contained in the tax laws, the criminal code or other statutes. A civil tax matter is any matter related to the administration and enforcement of a jurisdiction’s tax laws that is not a criminal tax matter.
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    Annex B
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