The Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters is the most comprehensive multilateral instrument available for all forms of tax co-operation to tackle tax evasion and avoidance. It was developed jointly by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the Council of Europe in 1988, and amended by Protocol in 2010.
What benefits does the Convention provide?
The Convention has the potential to become the leading global instrument for tax co-operation around the world. It not only provides for exchange of information, but also includes assistance in recovery, the service of documents, and can facilitate joint audits. This type of multilateral co-operation can also benefit businesses by reducing compliance costs and levelling the playing field.
In addition to providing a valuable tool for fighting tax evasion, the Convention may also help to further other law enforcement purposes such as fighting corruption and money laundering.
Why was the Convention amended?
The Convention was amended to respond to the call of the G20 at its 2009 London Summit to align it to the international standard on exchange of information on request and to open it to all countries, in particular to ensure that developing countries could benefit from the new more transparent environment.
The amended Convention facilitates international co-operation for a better operation of national tax laws, and more effective administrative co-operation between states in the assessment and collection of taxes, in particular with a view to combating tax avoidance and evasion.
Which countries participate in the Convention?
122 jurisdictions, including Australia, currently participate in the Convention.
Since 2009, the G20 has consistently encouraged countries to sign the Convention including most recently at the meeting of the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting in February 2016.
For a full list of participating countries, see Jurisdictions Participating in the Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters.