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International tax co-operation enhanced

Last week saw a further strengthening of international cooperation in dealing with tax evasion and tax avoidance. Sixty three countries have now joined the Multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters - a tax instrument dealing with international tax cooperation.

The Convention is intended to provide a comprehensive multilateral framework for this cooperation to take place, allowing, in particular, the spontaneous exchange of information, simultaneous tax examinations and assistance in tax collection.

It is another example of the way in which tax authorities are responding to the fact that taxpayers now frequently operate worldwide. As a result, they are moving from bilateral to multilateral cooperation and from exchange of information on request to other forms of cooperation such as automatic exchange of information.

The most recent signatories to the Convention - Liechtenstein and San Marino – signed up during a ceremony to mark the opening of the OECD Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes, which took place last week in Jakarta, Indonesia.

The UK, which is already a signatory to the Convention, also had a role to play, extending the territorial scope of the Treaty by depositing declarations in relation to the Isle of Man, and seven overseas territories: Anguilla, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Gibraltar, Montserrat, and Turks & Caicos.

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The views expressed in this article represent those of the author and not Bright Line Law.

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