The Strategist

OECD expects tax information exchange to expand further

11/27/2019 - 07:03

The Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes published a report on the results of ten years of activity of developed countries in this field. An international Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters was proposed for signing in 2010, which significantly increased the number of bilateral data exchange agreements. In 2019, the data exchange network consists of about 8 thousand such agreements, and includes about 130 jurisdictions.

401(K) 2012 via flickr
401(K) 2012 via flickr
The report notes “very concrete results” of this activity. Elimination of opportunities to conceal assets and income in “tax havens”, as well as the increased effectiveness of offshore investigations provided € 102 billion in additional tax revenue. More than 1 million taxpayers voluntarily disclosed data on their assets under pressure from transparency requirements.

From 2009 to 2017, the exchange of data took place mainly in the “on demand” mode, for which the interested party had to fix suspicions of tax evasion. During this time, the forum member countries exchanged more than 250 thousand requests - the effect of this is estimated at € 7.5 billion of additional tax revenues. Now developing countries are joining this regime, which significantly reduces the amount of shadow economy: it is stated that the requested data can be obtained in 99% of cases. This was facilitated by successes in the fight against bank secrecy (about 70 jurisdictions have removed this regime for tax authorities since 2009) and with the concealment of asset owners (90% of the member countries of the global forum do not allow bearer shares or have legislative requirements for identifying owners).

Starting in 2017, the automatic exchange of financial account data has drastically reduced opportunities for tax evasion. The exchange of data was automated by about a hundred jurisdictions - according to the OECD, only in 2017, data on 11 million accounts were transferred to the exchange network, in 2018 - already about 47 million. The volume of offshore investments, information about which became available to tax authorities, in 2018 rose to € 4.9 trillion. In 2019, the growth in the volume of data available to fiscal authorities is expected to reach 36%. The participants support accession of developing countries to the automatic exchange network, providing technical support to this process in 80 jurisdictions.