Two CARICOM countries sign tax cooperation with OECD

The Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) says it has broken “through the 100-mark” when two Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries joined others in signing the Multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters.

The OECD said St. Kitts and Nevis and St. Vincent and the Grenadines joined Burkina Faso, Malaysia and Samoa in signing the agreement in Paris on Thursday, bringing the number of participating jurisdictions to 103.

The OECD said St. Kitts and Nevis’ Prime Minister Dr. Timothy Harris and Cenio E. Lewis, High Commissioner of St. Vincent and the Grenadines to the United Kingdom, signed the Convention in a ceremony in Paris on behalf of their respective countries in the presence of the OECD Deputy Secretary-General Mari Kiviniemi.

In addition, the OECD said St. Kitts and Nevis, Andorra and Senegal “deposited their instruments of ratification of the Convention” on the same day.

As a result, the OECD said the Convention will “enter into force in each of these jurisdictions on 1 December 2016.”

Grace Perez-Navarro, Deputy-Director of the OECD Centre for Tax Policy and Administration (CTPA) congratulated the countries.

““With over 100 countries and jurisdictions now participating in this multilateral tax information sharing agreement, national efforts to combat international tax evasion and avoidance have been substantially strengthened,” she said.

Perez-Navarro urged those countries that have not yet done so to “sign and deposit their instrument of ratification of the Convention so that they, too, can benefit from the different types of cross-border tax co-operation afforded by the Convention.”

The OECD said the Convention was developed jointly with the Council of Europe in 1988 and amended in 2010 “to respond to the call by the G20 [Group of 20 of the world industrialized nations] to align it to the international standard on exchange of information and to open it to all countries, thus ensuring that developing countries could benefit from the new more transparent environment.”

Today, the OECD said the Convention is “the world’s leading instrument for boosting transparency and combating offshore tax evasion and avoidance.”

“The Convention’s impact grows with each new signatory; it now also serves as the premier instrument for implementing the new Standard for Automatic Exchange of Financial Account Information in Tax Matters developed by the OECD and G20 countries,” the statement said.

“It can also be used to swiftly implement the transparency measures of the OECD/G20 Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) Project, such as the automatic exchange of Country-by-Country reports under Action 13, as well as the sharing of rulings under Action 5 of the BEPS Project,” it added.

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