TRANSPARENCY: Austria, BVI now classed as 'largely compliant' with OECD standards

The Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes published new peer review reports today for 12 countries or jurisdictions, moving further ahead with its goal to implement global standards on transparency and exchange of information for tax purposes.

Austria, which was rated “Partially Compliant” in July 2013, has since implemented a number of recommendations by the Global Forum, leading to an upgrade of its overall rating to “Largely Compliant” in its supplementary report. The supplementary report of the British Virgin Islands, which assesses progress made since its Phase 2 report in July 2013 also concluded that based on significant improvements having been made, its overall rating be upgraded from “Non-Compliant” to “Largely Compliant.”

The Global Forum is the world’s largest international tax group, with 127 members on an equal footing. The Forum has now completed 198 peer reviews and assigned compliance ratings to 80 jurisdictions that have undergone Phase 2 reviews. Of these, 21 jurisdictions are rated “Compliant”, 46 are rated “Largely Compliant”, 10 are rated “Partially Compliant” and 3 jurisdictions are “Non-Compliant.” A further 11 jurisdictions are blocked from moving to a Phase 2 review due to insufficiencies in their legal and regulatory framework.

In an important step towards the smooth implementation of the OECD’s standard on Automatic Exchange of Information, the Global Forum has launched a multilateral process to evaluate confidentiality and data safeguards frameworks in more than 90 jurisdictions which have committed to begin automatic information exchange by 2017 or 2018.

The Global Forum continues to ensure that the benefits of participation in the new tax transparent and cooperative environment are available to all. It has conducted a number of training seminars to help jurisdictions prepare for peer reviews, sensitize tax auditors in the use of the exchange of information infrastructure and equip governments to implement automatic exchange of information.

Date: 3 August 2015