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OECD rates six more jurisdictions largely compliant on tax transparency

Thursday, 14 November, 2019

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, which incorporates beneficial ownership of all legal entities.

In its second round of peer-review reports, the Forum said that Andorra, CuraƧao, Dominican Republic, Marshall Islands, Samoa and the United Arab Emirates have demonstrated progress on the deficiencies identified in the first round of reviews. They have improved access to information; developed broader agreements for the exchange of information (EOI) on request; and improved their monitoring of the handling of incoming EOI requests, which are now increasing in all jurisdictions.

Panama was rated partially compliant, having addressed some OECD recommendations since its last assessment in 2016. These included strengthening its strike-off of inactive entities, and requiring all entities to maintain accounting records. In January 2018, it signed the OECD's multilateral competent authority agreement, committing it to the Common Reporting Standard for automatic exchange of financial account information, and fulfilling an undertaking it made to the OECD in 2016.

However, it still has some further challenges to address, said the Forum. In particular, it needs to ensure the availability of accounting information to the authorities, and to strengthen its supervisory programmes to ensure this type of information is kept in practice. It also needs to ensure that it can fully respond to EOI requests in a timely manner; during the review period from 1 April 2015 to 31 March 2018, Panama provided only partial information to 46 per cent of the 302 requests it received.

The second-round review of Saudi Arabia maintained the jurisdiction's overall rating of largely compliant.

The new Forum reports also issue new recommendations, notably related to the availability of beneficial ownership of relevant entities and arrangements. This criterion was added to the Forum's tax transparency standard when it was strengthened in 2016.

Sources