ICC hails progress on multilateral agreement on automatic exchange of information
The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) has welcomed an agreement reached this week by over 90 countries to automatically swap tax information describing the step towards achieving transparency in this area as an important milestone for the international tax reform agenda. The new OECD/G20 standard on automatic exchange of information was endorsed in Berlin yesterday by all OECD and G20 countries as well as major financial centres participating in the annual meeting of the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes. More than 50 countries additionally agreed to put exchange systems in place by the year 2017.
Speaking on the ground at the 10th session of the United Nations Committee of Experts in Tax Matters in Geneva yesterday, Christian Kaeser, Global Head of Tax at Siemens and Chairman of the ICC Commission on Taxation said: "The fact that 51 countries are able to agree on and conclude to these principles proves that international alignment in tax-related matters is not impossible. From the perspective of the business community, international consistency is an important prerequisite to avoid double taxation – a phenomenon still widely unresolved and a major obstacle to cross-border business."
The ICC Commission on Taxation comprises more than 150 taxation experts from all sectors of business and private practice and represents the world’s major companies and tax consultancy firms. Its mandate is to promote transparent and non-discriminatory treatment of foreign investment and earnings that eliminates tax obstacles to cross-border trade and investment. The commission analyses developments in international fiscal policy and legislation and puts forward business views on government and intergovernmental projects affecting taxation.
Having recently called upon the G20 to maintain its stance on keeping Country-by-Country (CbC) tax reports from public release, ICC has applauded the efforts of the G20 and other governments to globalize taxation standards.
Following yesterday’s announcement, ICC underscored its continuing commitment to providing business comment on OECD proposals and the current overhaul of international taxation rules, noting that the process calls for an inclusive and transparent process. ICC has also welcomed the opportunity to remain actively engaged in the G20’s tax agenda process, which would lead to changes in international and domestic tax systems, and impact both the business community and international trade.
ICC Commission on Taxation
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