In series:Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes: Peer Reviewsview more titles
Published on August 03, 2015
The Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes is the multilateral framework within which work in the area of tax transparency and exchange of information is carried out by over 120 jurisdictions which participate in the work of the Global Forum on an equal footing.
The Global Forum is charged with in-depth monitoring and peer review of the implementation of the standards of transparency and exchange of information for tax purposes. These standards are primarily reflected in the 2002 OECD Model Agreement on Exchange of Information on Tax Matters and its commentary, and in Article 26 of the OECD Model Tax Convention on Income and on Capital and its commentary as updated in 2004, which has been incorporated in the UN Model Tax Convention.
The standards provide for international exchange on request of foreseeably relevant information for the administration or enforcement of the domestic tax laws of a requesting party. “Fishing expeditions” are not authorised, but all foreseeably relevant information must be provided, including bank information and information held by fiduciaries, regardless of the existence of a domestic tax interest or the application of a dual criminality standard.
All members of the Global Forum, as well as jurisdictions identified by the Global Forum as relevant to its work, are being reviewed. This process is undertaken in two phases. Phase 1 reviews assess the quality of a jurisdiction’s legal and regulatory framework for the exchange of information, while Phase 2 reviews look at the practical implementation of that framework. Some Global Forum members are undergoing combined – Phase 1 plus Phase 2 – reviews. The ultimate goal is to help jurisdictions to effectively implement the international standards of transparency and exchange of information for tax purposes.
The Phase 1 review of the Dominican Republic demonstrates their high level of commitment to the international standard for transparency and exchange of information for tax purposes. Generally, the legal and regulatory framework for the availability of information is in place. However, the Dominican Republic should ensure that an appropriate mechanism in put in place to ensure the ownership information for bearer shares is available in all cases. The Dominican Republic has sufficient access powers in the Tax Code for both domestic and exchange of information purposes and the right balance has been struck between rights and safeguards and accessing information. However, the complexity of the process for accessing banking information directly may unduly delay the exchange of banking information. At present, the network of information exchange mechanisms covers three jurisdictions, being their three main trading partners and the Dominican Republic is continuing to negotiate further agreements to extend their EOI network. The response of the Dominican Republic to the recommendations in this report, as well as the application of the legal framework to the practices of its competent authority will be considered in detail in the Phase 2 Peer Review of the Dominican Republic which is scheduled for the fourth quarter of 2015. For further information on the exchange of information practice of the Dominican Republic and to read the full report click here.