Guernsey: OECD Endorses Guernsey's Tax Standards
Last Updated: 2 May 2013

The OECD's Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes has endorsed the standards adopted by Guernsey.

The Global Forum has adopted the Guernsey peer review report and in doing so has endorsed that Guernsey is continuing to meet the international standards of transparency and tax information exchange.

The review, undertaken by the members of the Global Forum, is an independent and comprehensive technical review of the legal and practical framework in place in Guernsey for exchanging tax information under international agreements.

The review examined Guernsey's compliance with the Global Forum's terms of reference, which comprises 10 overall elements broken down into a further 31 aspects. Guernsey was found to have all of the essential elements assessed to date in place.

Guernsey's Chief Minister, Peter Harwood, said: "This is a rigorous examination by expert assessors versed in the legal and practical systems required to comply with international standards in this field. Guernsey was one of the first jurisdictions to have undergone a stand-alone Phase 2 review, and has been found to have all of those essential elements that have been assessed in place. In short, we have shown that we continue to meet the international standards of transparency, co-operation and information exchange in tax matters."

The peer review was carried out in two phases: the first, in late 2010, looked at the legal framework; and the second, in late 2012, examined the practical system in place for effective exchange of information. The Income Tax Office led the Guernsey response to the two phases of the Peer Review with detailed technical input from others including St James' Chambers [law officers], the Commerce and Employment Department, the Guernsey Financial Services Commission (GFSC), the Company Registry and the Guernsey Border Agency.

Gavin St Pier, Minister of the Treasury and Resources Department in Guernsey, said: "Guernsey has been committed to the principles of transparency and exchange of information for tax purposes since making a political commitment to the OECD in 2002. We have 40 signed Tax Information Exchange Agreements (TIEAs) and five Double Taxation Agreements (DTAs), all of which meet the highest international standards. More are in various stages of negotiation.

"We also exchange information under agreements equivalent to the EU Savings Tax Directive (EUSTD) and we are in negotiation with the US on an Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) relating to the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) and with the UK on a similar package of measures."

The Global Forum has 120 members (including the EU), and a number of international organisations as observers. The Global Forum regularly updates the G20 on its progress, and an update which includes the findings from Guernsey's report will be delivered to the G20 Finance ministers and Central Bank Governors for their meeting on 18-19 April 2013.

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