Exchange of information on tax matters
Produced in partnership with David Klass of Hunton Andrews Kurth
Exchange of information on tax matters

The following Tax guidance note Produced in partnership with David Klass of Hunton Andrews Kurth provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Exchange of information on tax matters
  • What is exchange of information?
  • The scope of the obligation
  • Exceptions to the obligation
  • Persons covered
  • Taxes covered
  • Time periods
  • Tax secrecy
  • Reciprocity
  • Legal professional privilege
  • more

What is exchange of information?

Exchange of information (EOI) between tax authorities has long been a key element of international co-operation in tax matters.

More recently, however, growing levels of public and governmental concern regarding perceived tax avoidance (at both the individual and the corporate level) have caused the topic to assume a still greater significance, and have ensured that it has become a centrally important (and arguably more effective) cross-border anti-avoidance measure.

There are a variety of different regimes and instruments pursuant to which tax authorities such as HMRC exchange information relating to taxpayers with overseas tax authorities.

These include:

  1. double tax treaties or conventions (DTTs)

  2. tax information exchange agreements (TIEAs)

  3. the Council of Europe/OECD Multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters (MAATM), and

  4. the EU Directive on Administrative Cooperation (DAC)

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has been, and continues to be, a major player in this regard, including through its adoption of the common reporting standard (CRS) in 2014 and its delivery of the Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) Action Plan (eg Actions 5 and 13, Countering Harmful Tax Practices More Effectively, Taking into Account Transparency and Substance and Transfer Pricing Documentation and Country-by-Country Reporting).

The CRS requires countries to obtain information from their financial institutions and to exchange that information automatically with other jurisdictions annually. The approach taken by the CRS draws heavily on FATCA (the US Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act), which imposes a system of information reporting (and (unlike the CRS) a potential 30% withholding tax) on payments made by US persons and others to certain types of non-US entities where the reporting