UK and International Tax news

OECD Releases Full Version Of Global Standard For Automatic Exchange Of Financial Information

Friday 25th July 2014

On 21 July 2014, the OECD released the full version of a new global standard for the automatic exchange of information between jurisdictions. 

The Standard for Automatic Exchange of Financial Information in Tax Matters 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. 

The new consolidated version includes commentary and guidance for implementation by governments and financial institutions, detailed model agreements, as well as standards for harmonised technical and information technology solutions, notably a standard format and requirements for secure transmission of data. In particular, it contains the text of the Model Competent Authority Agreement [Model CAA], the Common Reporting and Due Diligence Standard [CRS] and commentaries thereon. 

The OECD will formally present the Standard to G20 Finance Ministers at their next meeting in Cairns, Australia, on 20/21 September 2014.  

Over 65 countries and jurisdictions have already publicly committed to implementation, while more than 40 have committed to a specific and ambitious timetable leading to the first automatic information exchanges in 2017. This includes a group of OECD and non-OECD countries which have adhered to the OECD Declaration on Automatic Exchange of Information in Tax Matters as well as a group of early adopters. 

More jurisdictions are expected to commit to implement the Standard in the run up to the late-October meeting of the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes on which brings together more than 120 countries and jurisdictions, to be held in Berlin and hosted by the German Ministry of Finance. At this occasion a signing ceremony is expected to be held for a new multilateral agreement that activates automatic exchange once legislation and other conditions are in place. Assistance will be available to support less developed countries, so they benefit from this move towards a more transparent tax environment, and international organisations are ready to co-operate to support these countries.

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