The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has released the full version of a new global standard for the exchange of tax information between jurisdictions ("The Standard").

In September 2013, G20 leaders fully endorsed the OECD proposal for a truly global model for automatic exchange of information and invited the OECD, working with G20 countries, to develop such a new single standard for automatic exchange of information, including the technical modalities, to better fight tax evasion and ensure tax compliance.

The Standard, developed in response to the G20 request and approved by the OECD Council on 15 July 2014, calls on jurisdictions to obtain information from their financial institutions and automatically exchange that information with other jurisdictions on an annual basis.

The Standard:

  • Provides for annual automatic exchange between governments of financial account information—including balances, interest, dividends, and sales proceeds from financial assets, reported to governments by financial institutions and covering accounts held by individuals and entities, including trusts and foundations
  • Includes commentary and guidance for implementation by governments and financial institutions, detailed model agreements, and rules for uniform technical and information technology solutions
  • Provides a standard format and requirements for secure transmission of data

The Standard draws extensively on earlier work of the OECD in the area of automatic exchange of information. It incorporates progress made within the European Union, as well as global anti-money laundering standards, with the intergovernmental implementation of the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) having acted as a catalyst for the move towards automatic exchange of information in a multilateral context.

More than 65 countries and jurisdictions have publicly committed to implementation, and more than 40 have committed to a specific and ambitious timetable leading to the first automatic information exchanges in 2017—including a group of OECD and non-OECD countries. More jurisdictions are expected to commit to implement the OECD standard.

DQ's Expertise

Dougherty Quinn (DQ) has a specialist team with extensive experience of advising clients in relation to international tax, securities and criminal investigations, TIEA requests and multi-jurisdiction insolvencies in the Isle of Man and the BVI.

For more information on BVI investigations or disclosure requests, please contact head of DQ's BVI law practice, Stephen Dougherty.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.