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Implementing the Tax Transparency Standards

A Handbook for Assessors and Jurisdictions

image of Implementing the Tax Transparency Standards

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.

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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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