On 7 August 2015, the OECD released three reports to help jurisdictions and financial institutions implement the global Standard for automatic exchange of financial account information (CRS).
- The first report is a handbook for implementing CRS (CRS Handbook). In particular, it promotes the consistent use of optional provisions, identifies areas for alignment with FATCA and addresses the operational and transitional challenges resulting from the staggered implementation of the Standard. It also includes a newly-updated FAQ document. This handbook is intended to be updated on a regular basis.
- The second document comprises guidance on, and shares practical experience in respect of, voluntary disclosure programs. According to the OECD, “the limited time left until the automatic exchange of information under the Standard becomes a reality will in many instances be the last window of opportunity for non-compliant taxpayers to voluntarily disclose”, hence the OECD to again encourage countries to examine voluntary compliance strategies that enable non-compliant taxpayers to come forward.
- The third report contains a Model protocol to the Tax Information Exchange Agreement. This protocol is indeed necessary for jurisdictions that would like to extend the scope for these TIEAs to include automatic and spontaneous exchange of tax information (whereas article 26 of the OECD Model Tax Convention and the multilateral convention on mutual assistance in tax matters already provide for such a possibility).
- For the full OECD press release, please follow this link.