The OECD has issued new model disclosure rules that require lawyers, accountants, financial advisors, banks, and other service providers to inform tax authorities of any schemes they put in place for their clients to avoid reporting under the OECD/G20 Common Reporting Standard (CRS) or prevent the identification of the beneficial owners of entities or trusts.
About 100 territories will begin to automatically exchange information on offshore financial accounts under the CRS this year.
The new rules released March 9 are intended target those circumventing the CRS and their advisers, by introducing an obligation on a wide range of intermediaries to disclose these schemes. The new rules also require the reporting of structures that hide beneficial owners of offshore assets, companies, and trusts.
"Time is up for tax evaders and their advisors that still want to game the rules and continue to hide assets offshore", Pascal Saint-Amans, Director of the OECD Centre for Tax Policy and Administration, said. "With the automatic exchange of CRS information becoming a global reality this year, it is the right moment to get hold of those taxpayers and advisors that attempt to undermine the reporting on offshore assets and that try to play the new global tax transparency framework."
"The mandatory disclosure rules will be a powerful tool to detect taxpayers that continue to refuse to be compliant with their obligations to declare their assets and income to their tax authorities. They will also have a deterrent effect against the design, marketing, and use of schemes to avoid CRS reporting or hide beneficial owners behind opaque offshore structures. This is key both for the integrity of the CRS and for making sure that taxpayers that can afford to pay advisors and to put in place complex offshore structures do not get a free ride."
The model disclosure rules will be submitted to the G7 presidency and are part of a wider strategy of the OECD to monitor and act upon tendencies in the market that try to avoid CRS reporting and hide assets offshore. As part of this work, the OECD is also addressing cases of abuse of "golden visas" and similar schemes to circumvent CRS reporting.
Andorra and Cyprus have signed a DTA, Andorra's Government announced on May 18, 2018.
Singapore and Brazil signed a DTA on May 7, 2018.
A DTA between Morocco and the Congo was signed on April 30, 2018.
The Mauritius Revenue Authority on March 19, 2018, published Government Notice No. 36 of 2018, confirming the entry into force of a Protocol updating its DTA with Barbados.
Legislation allowing for a DTA between the Netherlands and Malawi was ratified on April 30, 2018.
Switzerland and Brazil signed a DTA on May 3, 2018.
Slovakia on April 27, 2018, published Notice 123/2018 confirming the entry into force of its DTA with Ethiopia.
The Indian Government on May 7, 2018, announced that the DTA Protocol signed with Kuwait entered into force on March 26, 2018. A notice was published in India's Official Gazette on May 4, 2018.
The DTA between Slovakia and Iran became effective on May 1, 2018.
A protocol to the DTA between Russia and Sweden was signed on April 24, 2018.
Serbia and San Marino signed a DTA in Belgrade on April 16, 2018.
Kyrgyzstan and the Czech Republic agreed a draft DTA during four-day talks that ended on April 19, 2018.
Malta and Ethiopia signed a DTA on April 12, 2018.
Saudi Arabia's Cabinet on April 17, 2018, authorized the Minister of Finance to sign a DTA with Latvia.
The United Kingdom on April 24, 2018, released The Double Taxation Relief and International Tax Enforcement (Kyrgyzstan) Order 2018, which would ratify the DTA signed with Kyrgyzstan.
Latvia and Costa Rica agreed on April 13, 2018, to begin negotiations towards a DTA.
Austria's Council of Ministers on April 18, 2018, authorized negotiations on a Protocol to the DTA with Uzbekistan.
A bill was tabled in Belarus's House of Representatives on April 19, 2018, to ratify the DTA signed with the United Kingdom.
The DTA between Luxembourg and Cyprus entered into force on April 24, 2018, following its publication in Luxembourg's Official Gazette on April 20, 2018.
The Swiss Federal Council on April 18, 2018, submitted for parliamentary approval dispatches relating to a Protocol to the DTA with Ecuador, and a new DTA with Zambia.
Chile's Chamber of Deputies approved the DTA with Uruguay on April 19, 2018.
Kazakhstan's President on April 9 signed legislation ratifying a protocol to the DTA with Belarus.
Macau's Office of the Chief Executive on April 3, 2018, issued Order No. 63/2018 authorizing the conclusion of a DTA with Vietnam.
Latvia and Chile discussed launching DTA negotiations during a two-day meeting that concluded on April 10, 2018.
Finland's President on April 6, 2018, authorized the signature of a DTA with Hong Kong.