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Fight against offshore tax evasion

Strengthening the international community’s fight against offshore tax evasion: Australia, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, India, Indonesia and New Zealand join multilateral agreement to automatically exchange information

In a boost for international efforts to strengthen co-operation against offshore tax evasion, seven new countries have joined the agreement to exchange information automatically under the OECD/G20 standard.

Australia, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, India, Indonesia and New Zealand became the latest countries to join the Multilateral Competent Authority Agreement (MCAA), bringing the total number of jurisdictions to 61. The Agreement implements the Standard for Automatic Exchange of Financial Information in Tax Matters, developed by the OECD and G20 countries and presented in 2014.

The Standard provides for annual automatic exchange between governments of financial account information, including balances, interest, dividends and sales proceeds from financial assets. It covers accounts held by individuals and entities, including trusts and foundations.

To date, 94 jurisdictions have committed to implement the Standard, agreeing to launch the first automatic information exchanges in 2017 or 2018.

OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría welcomed the expansion of signatories of the MCAA, which further demonstrates the global benefits of a common standard open to countries and jurisdictions worldwide. “The world is quickly becoming a much smaller place, both for tax evaders and tax administrations. We expect a truly significant amount of additional financial information to circulate among authorities in the coming years, resulting in less tax evasion, greater tax revenues and a fairer tax system for honest taxpayers”. Read the full speech.

The MCAA is a framework administrative agreement used in conjunction with the Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters, which is the most comprehensive multilateral instrument available to countries for all forms of tax co-operation to tackle tax evasion and avoidance.

For further information on the Standard for Automatic Exchange of Financial Account Information in Tax Matters and the Multilateral Competent Authority Agreement, go to: www.oecd.org/tax/automaticexchange.htm.

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