MIL OSI – Source: German Ministry of Finance – in English –
Headline: Berlin Tax Conference 2014: Fifty states call for greater tax transparency and fairness
A total of 50 states and jurisdictions signed a multilateral agreement on the automatic exchange of tax information at the German Federal Ministry of Finance today, 29 October 2014. The signatory states have committed to sharing information about the financial accounts of taxpayers who are resident for tax purposes in a different country.
This high tax standard was developed in cooperation with the OECD. In their Berlin Declaration, the early adopters encourage other countries to join the agreement:
“The Early Adopters Group […], recognising that tax evasion can only be tackled effectively at the global level, have committed ourselves to early adoption of the new single global standard for automatic exchange of taxpayer information […].
As a group we are committed to remaining at the forefront of this global agenda, to supporting the monitoring of the implementation of the new global standard within the Global Forum and to ensuring that all countries can realise the benefits. In doing so we have recognised that only those financial centres which adopt the highest standards of transparency and work in close cooperation with each other will be those that prosper in the future.”
The full text of the Berlin Declaration and a list of signatories can be found below.
The agreement on the automatic exchange of information is mainly a result of the commitment shown by Germany and its European partners France, Italy, the UK and Spain (the G5) and the initiative they launched in April 2013.
Financial institutions must take stock of their existing accounts as of 31 December 2015 and determine new customers’ residence for tax purposes starting on 1 January 2016. The first automatic exchanges of information will take place in September 2017. Germany’s high data protection standards will apply in these exchanges with other countries.
The process of automatic information exchange is now supported by more than 100 states and jurisdictions.
The global implementation of this OECD standard represents a further step in the fight against tax evasion. Tax administrations across the world, including German revenue authorities, will receive the information they need to ensure proper taxation of all taxpayers.