More Countries Joining the Transparency Trend

On October 29, more than 50 countries signed on to implement OECD standard for automatic exchange of information starting in 2017 or 2018.  The Secretary-General of the OECD, Angel Gurria, announced at the end of the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes that of the 123 Global Forum members, close to 90 agreed to implement the international standards.  The new measures will be employed by 51 of the signatories beginning in 2017 or 2018, with the remaining jurisdictions to follow thereafter.

Signatories include countries that have historically shied away from such disclosure initiatives, – for example, Bermuda, the Cayman Islands, and the Isle of Man are all on board.

One party that did not sign: The United States.  Although the U.S. did not sign the agreement, it will begin automatically exchanging information under FATCA in 2015.  The director of the OECD Centre for Tax Policy and Administration noted that the U.S. is the driver for this agreement through its enactment of FATCA.  The director also stated that although implementation of the standards remains, voluntary disclosure programs by OECD and G-20 members have recovered €37 billion in hidden assets.

More information regarding the exchange of information can be found at Bloomberg Businessweek and Tax Analysts

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