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At the October 29-30, 2015 meeting of the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes (part of the OECD), Cyprus, Luxembourg and the Seychelles were lauded for making significant changes to their legal frameworks and practices, each earning an overall rating of “largely compliant”. To achieve a “largely compliant” rating, a jurisdiction can only be deemed by peer reviewers as having (at most) minor shortcomings in the implementation of the 10 essential elements that are rated.
The brief primer below provides an overview of the methods, standards and rating paradigm used by the Global Forum.
Peer Reviews are conducted by an assessment team composed of 2 expert assessors provided by peer jurisdictions and co-ordinated by a member of the Global Forum Secretariat. The assessment team’s report is presented to the 30 member Peer Review Group (PRG) and, once approved (by means of consensus) it becomes a report of the PRG which will then be submitted for adoption by the Global Forum.
The Global Forum’s Standards & Rating Paradigm
The Peer Reviews happen in two Phases:
The Global Forum breaks down the standards of transparency and exchange of information into 10 essential elements under three broad categories: (A) availability of information; (B) access to information; and (C) exchanging information.
The Global Forum’s 10 Essential Elements of Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes:
AVAILABILITY OF INFORMATION
ACCESS TO INFORMATION