Commentary

A6.1204 Mutual assistance directives

Administration and compliance

A6.1204 Mutual assistance directives

A6.1204 Mutual assistance directives

HMRC have authority to co-operate with foreign tax jurisdictions in a variety of ways, including exchange of information and collection of taxes, and agreements have been reached both at European level and jointly by the OECD and the Council of Europe. These have an important bearing on enquiries and investigations.

For details on reporting rules for cross-border arrangements (DAC 6), see A6.1204A.

OECD/Council of Europe Convention

The UK is a signatory to the OECD/Council of Europe Convention for Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters (MAAC)1. The convention provides for a wide range of tools for cross-border tax co-operation including exchange of information, multilateral simultaneous tax examination, service of documents and cross-border assistance in tax collection, while imposing extensive safeguards to protect the confidentiality of the information exchanged. A protocol, signed by the UK2 in May 2010, updated the convention by extending its coverage to all countries (not just those in the OECD and Council of Europe) and aligned the convention with international standards on information exchange, in particular by requiring full exchange of information on request in all tax matters without regard to a domestic tax interest requirement or bank secrecy for tax purposes3.

A toolkit has been produced by the Secretariat of the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes. It outlines the benefits of joining the MAAC, and provides an overview of the main provisions and its relationship with

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