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09 May 14 International commitment to automatic exchange of information in tax matters

Bank secrecy for tax purposes is coming to an end as countries and major financial centres commit to automatic exchange of information between jurisdictions.

The Declaration on Automatic Exchange of Information in Tax Matters was endorsed during the OECD’s annual Ministerial Council Meeting in Paris by all 34 member countries, along with Argentina, Brazil, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, India, Indonesia, Latvia, Lithuania, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore and South Africa.

The Declaration commits countries to implement a new single global standard on automatic exchange of information. The standard, which was developed at the OECD and endorsed by G20 finance ministers last February, obliges countries and jurisdictions to obtain all financial information from their financial institutions and exchange that information automatically with other jurisdictions on an annual basis.

The OECD will deliver a detailed Commentary on the new standard, as well as technical solutions to implement the actual information exchanges, during a meeting of G20 finance ministers in September 2014.

G20 governments have mandated the OECD-hosted Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes to monitor and review implementation of the standard.

More than 60 countries and jurisdictions have now committed to early adoption of the standard, and additional Global Forum members are expected to join this group in the coming months.

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