OECD releases new peer-review ratings for nine countries
This is the second round of peer-review assessments for most of the jurisdictions. This latest round includes a new test relating to availability of beneficial ownership information on companies and other relevant entities and arrangements. None of the nine just reviewed have improved their ratings since the previous round, which mostly took place between 2013 and 2015.
Four of countries were given the same overall rating as in their first-round assessments:
- Chile was again rated ‘Largely Compliant’, having expanded its information exchange network to 137 jurisdictions. However, it did not achieve the ‘Compliant’ rating, mainly because of the limited scope of its beneficial ownership legislation. Chilean banks have been required to identify the beneficial owner of their clients since 2016, but this obligation does not cover all relevant entities and the definition of beneficial owners for legal entities and arrangements is not fully in line with the international standard.
- Gibraltar was also rated ‘Largely Compliant’ overall, although it too needs to improve the availability of beneficial ownership information, and to increase the supervision of accounting information. The review also suggests the country has scope to tighten its enforcement of accessing information and interpreting the relevance of requested tax information.
- Greece is also rated ‘Largely Compliant’, having abolished the issue of new bearer shares by most companies and by establishing a beneficial ownership register. However, deficiencies in the availability of ownership and accounting information were identified.
- Uruguay maintained its first-round ‘Largely Compliant’ rating, having ensured that beneficial ownership information of entities is available, and becoming a party to the OECD's Multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters.
Four jurisdictions have been downgraded. Anguilla has been rated ‘Non-compliant,’ due to an unavailability of accounting records, and also to 'significant failures' by the Anguilla authorities to respond to information requests. China has been downgraded to ‘Largely Compliant’ due to the unavailability of beneficial ownership information. Malta has been given a ‘Partially Compliant’ rating, mainly due to concerns about the unavailability of ownership, accounting and banking information, particularly considering the filing compliance rates. South Korea was downgraded to ‘Largely Compliant’, again because of the unavailability of beneficial ownership information.
The ninth jurisdiction, Papua New Guinea, has not been reviewed before, and achieved a ‘Largely Compliant’ rating.
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