The United States did not respond to 30% of requests for information exchange received by other countries.

At last! The OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) recognizes for the first time flaws in the exchange of information by the United States.

In its latest peer report on fiscal transparency, the OECD downgraded the note as punishment for the United States. for not improving the information exchange processes with other countries. This was confirmed by many countries that requested information and indicate that it is not effective. USA For his part, he argued that many requests for information are highly complex and require more analysis time, however, it is not a valid excuse and reality confirms what everyone suspects: the United States. It has a poor system of information exchange between countries.

In the year that Switzerland began automatic exchange of financial account information between countries for tax reasons, criticism of the only power to maintain bank secrecy was high. The criticism was not only towards the USA. but to who audits it (the OECD) since in its last review (2011) it overlooked major flaws in international standards. The new report with data from 2018 recognizes shortcomings and reassures the community that its recommendations begin to make sense for the first time.

The OECD through its tax audit department, the Global Forum, periodically audits member countries through what they call “peer review”. A group of appointed foreign specialists review the current regulations, classify and give recommendations. In case of ignoring the recommendations, the notes go down.

Not everything is negative in the report

USA he improved his notes in reference to some observations made in the first report. The report improves the note in procedures related to access to information of owners and owners of companies, properties and bank accounts.

Among the improvements are the following:

  • It passed legislation in 2016 requiring the IRS to register Limited Liabilities Companies (LLCs) with a single owner, report to their owners, and maintain accounting records in line with the standard.
  • In 2018, a regulation was passed whereby foreign-owned companies must report all their transactions with their shareholders, including profit distributions.
  • Passed money laundering prevention legislation that requires banks and financial institutions to identify beneficial owners (BOs) of corporate bank accounts or trusts.

Observations and Recommendations

  • Access to BO’s information should improve. Although access to information on beneficial owners has improved, not all information is available for an information exchange. Both companies, trusts and financial institutions are required to keep this information private and are not required to report it to the authorities. This makes an effective exchange of information between countries almost impossible.
  • Information on BO’s of trusts must be modified. Although the American law requires the identification of the settlor (Settlor), Trustee (trustee), and beneficiaries, there is no legislation in force that requires the identification of final beneficiaries or natural persons who exercise effective control.
  • Another observation that deteriorates the image of EE. The USA is that it never ratified the OECD Multilateral Information Agreement that it signed in 2010 and under which the rest of the world began to exchange financial information automatically.
  • Single-owner LLCs must have formal accounting.
  • The definition of final beneficiary of bank accounts in some cases differs from the definition of the OECD International Standard. Specifically, speaking of Trusts, the people identified as final beneficiaries are the trustees and not the people who exercise the last effective control.
  • In the period studied, the USA was unable to respond to 70% of requests for information exchange in less than 90 days.

The full OECD report on peer review about the United States is available online: -tax-purposes-united-states-2018-second-round_9789264302853-en # page29

Latest news on the exchange of information between countries [1]

International efforts to improve transparency through the automatic exchange of financial account information are improving tax compliance and delivering concrete results for governments around the world, according to new data released last June 7 by the OECD.

More than 90 jurisdictions participating in a global transparency initiative under the OECD Common Information Standard (CRS) since 2018 have now exchanged information on 47 million accounts abroad, with a total value of approximately 4.9 trillion euros. The Automatic Information Exchange (AEOI) initiative, activated through 4,500 bilateral relationships, marks the largest exchange of tax information in history, as well as the culmination of more than two decades of international efforts to counter tax evasion.

“The international community has achieved an unprecedented level of transparency in tax matters, which will bring concrete results for government revenues and services in the coming years,” according to OECD Secretary General Angel Gurria, the new data revealed before a meeting of the G20 finance ministers in Fukuoka, Japan. “The transparency initiatives we have designed and implemented through the G20 have uncovered a deep fund of offshore funds that can now be effectively taxed by authorities around the world. “Ongoing analysis of cross-border financial activity is already demonstrating to what extent international standards on automatic information exchange have strengthened tax compliance, and we expect to see even stronger results in the future,”

The voluntary disclosure of offshore accounts, financial assets and income in the period prior to the full implementation of the AEOI initiative generated over € 95 billion in additional income (taxes, interest and penalties) for OECD and G20 countries during the period 2009-2019. This cumulative amount has increased by € 2 billion since the last OECD report in November 2018.

The OECD’s preliminary analysis that is based on a methodology used in previous studies shows the great impact that AEOI is having on bank deposits in international financial centers (IFCs). Deposits held by companies or individuals in more than 40 IFCs increased substantially during the period 2000 to 2008, reaching a maximum of USD 1.6 billion in mid-2008.

These deposits have fallen 34% in the last ten years, representing a decrease of USD 551 billion, as countries adhered to stricter transparency standards. A large part of that decrease is due to the start of the AEOI initiative, which represents approximately two thirds of the decrease. Specifically, AEOI has led to a 20% to 25% decrease in bank deposits at IFCs, according to preliminary data. The full study is expected to be published later this year.

“These impressive results are only the first balance of our collective efforts,” said Gurria. “Even more tax revenue is expected as countries continue to process the information received through data comparison and other research tools. We are really approaching a world where there is nowhere to hide. “

[1] Data taken from OECD source directly:

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