More than 100 governments now signed up to international tax convention
Five more governments have signed up to an international convention on cooperating with tax authorities around the world, bringing the number of participating jurisdictions to 103.
The OECD’s Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters is a wide-reaching agreement to exchange information about taxpayers between authorities either on request or spontaneously.
Yesterday, Burkina Faso, Malaysia, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and Samoa signed the document during a ceremony at OECD headquarters in Paris.
The news comes a month after Panama signed the convention, following the publication earlier this year of the ‘Panama Papers’ – an unprecedented leak of 11.5m files that detail information for more than 214,488 offshore entities, illustrating how wealthy individuals and public officials are able to keep personal financial information private.
Grace Perez-Navarro, deputy director of the OECD Centre for Tax Policy and Administration (CTPA), said: “With over 100 countries and jurisdictions now participating in this multilateral tax information sharing agreement, national efforts to combat international tax evasion and avoidance have been substantially strengthened.”
The convention is the most comprehensive multilateral instrument available for all forms of tax co-operation to tackle tax evasion and avoidance, and guarantees extensive safeguards for the protection of taxpayers’ rights.
Its signatories include all G20 countries, BRICS, almost all OECD countries, most major financial centres and a growing number of developing countries.
It was developed jointly by the OECD and the Council of Europe in 1988 and amended in 2010 to respond to the call by the G20 to align it to the international standard on exchange of information and to open it to all countries, thus ensuring that developing countries could benefit from the new more transparent environment.