Improving Access to Bank Information for Tax Purposes


Bank secrecy towards tax authorities impedes effective exchange of information and may encourage tax avoidance. In April 2000, the Committee on Fiscal Affairs published a report, Improving Access to Bank Information for Tax Purposes, in which it encouraged members to:

  • Prevent financial institutions from maintaining anonymous accounts and to require the identification of bank customers and beneficial owners of accounts.
  • Re-examine any "domestic tax interest requirement" that prevents their tax authorities from obtaining and providing to a treaty partner information they are otherwise able to obtain for domestic tax purposes.
  • Re-examine policies and practices that prevent access to bank information for purposes of exchange of information in tax cases involving intentional conduct which is subject to criminal tax prosecution.
  • Take appropriate initiatives to achieve access to bank information for the verification of tax liabilities and other tax administrative purposes.

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