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Tax transparency: how does your country perform?

12th September 2014

MGI World Tax transparency: how does your country perform?

Tax transparency is a hot topic right now, a favourite among lawmakers and a key issue on the agenda of most developed nations as they crank up anti-avoidance legislation and programmes. As such it's a pretty important area for the accountancy profession. 

The OECD earlier this year launched a new international standard for the automatic exchange of tax information. More than 60 countries have already committed to the Standard for Automatic Exchange of Financial Account Information in Tax Matters, which requires governments to obtain and share detailed account information from their financial institutions.

Now a survey of ten jurisdictions highlights some of the discrepancies in global tax transparency between nations and the battle that regulators face when seeking to enforce rules across borders.

The Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes details how nations are performing and where they could improve.

Of the ten, just Mexico was rated as being fully compliant with Global Forum standards. Five jurisdictions – Andorra, Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Indonesia and Saint Lucia - received an overall rating of partially compliant. Four others – Chile, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montserrat and St. Kitts and Nevis - received an overall rating of largely compliant.

Meanwhile, the forum also provided an update on Jersey, which was rated as largely compliant in November 2013, when the compliance ratings for an initial batch of 50 jurisdictions were assigned. “It has since implemented several recommendations made by the Global Forum, leading to an upgrade of ratings for individual elements of the evaluation process, but its overall rating remains largely compliant,” the forum said in a release.

With these reviews, the Global Forum has now completed 143 surveys and assigned compliance ratings to 64 jurisdictions.

Further reviews will be completed by the next meeting of the Global Forum, which takes place in Berlin this October. As the forum states, this meeting is expected to “add to the growing momentum towards a much higher level of tax transparency worldwide”.

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