Friday, August 2, 2013
Friday, August 2, 2013
The Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes has released peer review reports assessing the tax systems of 13 jurisdictions for information exchange. Later this year, most of these reviews will feed into the ratings assigned to 50 jurisdictions, backing G20 and Global Forum efforts to strengthen tax cooperation and stamp out cross-border tax evasion.
The new reports cover key players in a move toward greater tax co-operation. The 11 “Phase 2” reports review the exchange of information in practice in Austria, Bermuda, Brazil, British Virgin Islands, India, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Qatar, San Marino and The Bahamas. The two “Phase 1” reports look at the legal and regulatory framework for transparency and exchange of information in Israel and Lithuania. All the reports assess the jurisdictions’ commitment to the international standard for tax information exchange.
To date, the Global Forum has reviewed 98 jurisdictions. The 50 jurisdictions to be assigned ratings in November will include a further 9 Phase 2 reports expected to be adopted at that time. Each jurisdiction will receive ratings for the individual elements of the international standard and an overall rating – “compliant,” “largely compliant,” “partially compliant” or “non-compliant”.
Welcoming the reports,the Chair of the Global Forum, Kosie Louw of the South African Revenue Service, said: “The Global Forum is applying pressure on all jurisdictions to implement the standard and co-operate effectively in tax information exchange. The publication of the ratings later this year will be a crucial moment for all those committed to fighting cross-border tax evasion”.
Report on the implementation of the standard in practice (Phase 2)
The Phase 2 review notes that although The Bahamas started receiving requests for information relatively recently, the authorities were often able to provide the information and responded fully to 75% of the requests within 180 days. Whilst ownership and accounting information was generally made available, the lack of monitoring of ownership and accounting obligations may affect the availability of information for all legal entities. The Bahamas has broad powers to gather relevant information and these have been successfully exercised to gather information for EOI purposes. The competent authority is well organised with adequate internal processes in place for handling EOI requests. This has been confirmed by its partners acknowledging The Bahamas as an important and reliable EOI partner. http://www.eoi-tax.org/jurisdictions/BS