A new set of country ratings from the OECD's Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes (the Forum) has given six jurisdictions an overall rating of largely compliant with the OECD's updated global standard. In its second round of peer-reviewed assessments, the Forum has published a total of eight updated reports, considering compliance with the international standard on transparency and exchange of information on request.
Six of the jurisdictions under scrutiny – Andorra, Curaçao, Dominican Republic, Marshall Islands, Samoa and the United Arab Emirates – demonstrated progress in implementation of the standard and received an overall rating of "Largely Compliant". That means these jurisdictions have worked on the deficiencies identified in the first round of reviews, including improving access to information, developing broader EOI agreement networks, monitoring the handling of increasing incoming EOI requests.
Leading the pack, Saudi Arabia maintained its overall rating of Largely Compliant. Meanwhile, Panama was rated overall Partially Compliant. Challenges remain, particularly when it comes to ensuring the availability of accounting information. In its report, Panama was also advised to strengthen its supervisory programmes. It also needs to ensure that it can fully respond to exchange of information requests in a timely manner; during the initial review period between April 2015 and March 2018, Panama provided only partial information in answer to to 46% of the 302 requests received.
The Forum’s latest reports also issue new recommendations, in particular towards improving the measures related to the availability of beneficial ownership of relevant entities and arrangements, as required in the strengthened standard.
The first round of reviews was conducted from 2010 to 2016. The Global Forum has agreed that all members and relevant non-members should be subject to a second round of review starting in 2016, to ensure continued compliance with and implementation of the EOIR standard. The ultimate goal is to help jurisdictions to effectively implement the international standards of transparency and exchange of information for tax purposes.
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