As part of its ongoing efforts to maintain the integrity of the OECD Common Reporting Standard (CRS), the OECD is today launching a disclosure facility on the Automatic Exchange Portal which allows interested parties to report potential schemes to circumvent the CRS. Also today, a further important step to implement the CRS was taken, with an additional 500 bilateral automatic exchange relationships being established between over 60 jurisdictions committed to exchanging information automatically pursuant to the CRS, starting in 2017.
OECD launches facility to disclose CRS avoidance schemes
This facility is part of a wider three step process the OECD has put in place to deal with schemes that purport to avoid reporting under the CRS. As part of this process all actual or perceived loopholes that are identified are systematically analysed in order to decide on appropriate courses of action. This will further strengthen the effectiveness of the CRS which by design already limits opportunities for taxpayers to circumvent reporting to the greatest possible extent. It has a wide scope in terms of the Financial Institutions required to report, the financial information to be reported and the scope of Account Holders subject to reporting. It also requires that jurisdictions, as part of their effective implementation of the Standard, put in place anti-abuse rules to prevent any practices intended to circumvent the reporting and due diligence procedures. The disclosure facility can be accessed through the Automatic Exchange Portal.
The three step process to deal with CRS avoidance schemes complements the ongoing peer reviews carried out by the Global Forum on Tax Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes to ensure the effective implementation of the CRS in all jurisdictions.
Over 1800 bilateral exchange relationships in place for the exchange of CRS information
There are now over 1800 bilateral relationships in place across the globe, most of them based on the Multilateral Competent Authority Agreement on Automatic Exchange of Financial Account Information ("the CRS MCAA"). The full list of automatic exchange relationships that are currently in place under the CRS MCAA is available online. With respect to the jurisdictions exchanging as of 2017, now virtually all have activated their relationships under the CRS MCAA, while a significant number of new exchange relationships have now been put in place with respect to 2018 jurisdictions. The remaining exchange relationships are expected to be activated in the course of this year.
A further activation round is scheduled to take place in July 2017 which will allow the remaining jurisdictions to nominate the partners with which they will undertake automatic exchanges. The next update on the latest bilateral exchange relationships will be published before the summer break, with updates to follow on a periodic basis. In total, 100 jurisdictions have agreed to start automatically exchanging financial account information in September 2017 and 2018, under the CRS.
Today's wave of activations of bilateral exchange relationships is a further crucial step towards the timely implementation of the OECD-developed international standard for the automatic exchange of financial account information, the CRS, and reflects the determination of jurisdictions around the world to deliver on their political commitment to fight tax evasion.
Media queries should be directed to Pascal Saint-Amans, Director of the OECD Centre for Tax Policy and Administration (+33 6 26 30 49 23) or Achim Pross, Head of the International Co-operation and Tax Administration Division (+33 6 21 63 27 67).