Synopsis: Over 50 jurisdictions have signed up to the automatic exchange of tax information and will be required to commit to an annual exchange of all financial information automatically on a reciprocal basis with all other participating countries.

Date posted: Friday, November 07, 2014

The new OECD/G20 standard on automatic exchange of tax information has been endorsed by more than 50 jurisdictions at last week’s annual meeting of the Global Forum on Tax Transparency.

The exchange of tax information will begin in September 2017 for early adopters with others to follow in 2018.

This second-phase list includes Switzerland, Hong Kong, Singapore, Macao, Monaco, Antigua and Barbuda, the Bahamas, as well as Australia, New Zealand and Canada. The agreement also includes a requirement that beneficial ownership of all legal entities will be made available to tax authorities and exchanged with treaty partners. It contains clauses to protect taxpayer confidentiality and ensure that the information is only used for the purposes for which it was supplied.

Five jurisdictions have not yet committed to an implementation date: Panama; Bahrain; Cook Islands; Nauru; and Vanuatu.

And, the USA appears to be an exceptional case – while it does not appear in any of the lists, it is unilaterally imposing automatic information exchange from 2015 under the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act.

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