Tax Co-operation 2009

Towards a Level Playing Field

image of Tax Co-operation 2009

This fourth annual assessment of transparency and tax information policies carried out by the OECD Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information brings to 87 the number of countries covered by the report.  Four new countries are covered in this edition: Estonia, India, Israel, and Slovenia. This edition also features for each country new summary assessments providing a snapshot of their legal and administrative framework. The report sets out on a series of tables, on a country-by-country basis, information on: laws and agreements permitting the exchange of information for tax purposes;  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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Country Tables

This section provides detailed information on the framework for transparency and exchange of information in each country and is in the same format that has appeared in previous reports. This information is divided into four broad categories as with the summary assessments. The first set of tables provides information on the ability of countries to exchange information, either through international agreements such as double tax conventions, tax information exchange agreements, mutual legal assistance treaties, or by means of domestic legislation. The second set of 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 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 countries’ information-gathering powers, the existence of bearer securities and requirements to maintain legal or beneficial ownership information.

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