UAE joins Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes

ABU DHABI, — The UAE has joined the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes, following the Cabinet’s relevant decision in 2010 on the implementation by the Ministry of Finance of the G20 resolutions for the exchange of information for tax purposes, according to a Ministry statement.

The Cabinet’s resolution approved the Ministry’s membership in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) committees for exchange of information, and delegated the Ministry to coordinate with government bodies to collect financial information of international companies operating in the country.

The UAE Cabinet agreed in 2012 that the Ministry of Finance should gather information on natural or legal persons, including free zones, following a G20 decision on the importance of exchanging information for tax purposes.

A Memorandum of Understanding was signed with the Secretariat of the Global Forum of Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes on 17th July 2012, and was followed by two workshops in the same year and in 2013 on the frameworks for standards of transparency and exchange of information for tax purposes in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).

Obaid Humaid Al Tayer, Minister of State for Financial Affairs, has outlined the Ministry’s efforts and commitment to implement international standards and requirements for the exchange of information, which had led to the Ministry obtaining a seat on the International Steering Committee for the exchange of information, the first Arab country to be elected to this position.

This achievement, he noted, strengthens the strategic partnership between the UAE, the Forum, the OECD and the Financial Stability Board.

The UAE underwent a Phase-1 peer review in 2011 and submitted a report of the results to the committee which then agreed that the UAE should move forward to transfer to the second phase of the evaluation, following the country’s commitment to meet the relevant requirements.

This has led the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information to issue a decision on 18th March 2014 approving the UAE’s transmission to the final stage.

“The UAE achieved a significant shift in the second phase of evaluation,” Al Tayer said. “The Ministry takes into consideration all remarks given by evaluators, and works on a plan to meet the requirements and criteria to be able to provide a report that supports the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information by July 2017. These efforts reflect the Ministry’s commitment to rate as ‘largely compliant’ or ‘compliant’, and reaffirm the UAE’s commitment to implement the automatic exchange of information by 2018,” he added.

The UAE Cabinet has approved the agreement on mutual administrative assistance in tax matters (MAC) and the multilateral competent authority agreement (MCAA), while the Ministry of Finance continues its efforts to sign agreements with OECD and the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information.

The Ministry, in cooperation with the committee, supervises the implementation of the exchange of information for tax purposes, as per the schedule prepared by the Global Forum of Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes The Ministry recently held a meeting with relevant regulatory authorities in the UAE such as the Ministry of Economy, the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, the Insurance Authority, the Securities and Commodities Authority, the UAE Central Bank, the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) and the Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), to implement effective procedures and processes for the exchange of tax information as per international standards.

The UAE had previously endorsed the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) and had shared the financial data for 2014 and 2015, and has now signed more than 103 agreements on the avoidance of double taxation on income, seven agreements on the exchange of information for tax purposes, to provide a legal framework for tax authorities to practice cross-border cooperation without violating the sovereignty of other states or the rights of taxpayers, the Ministry of Finance statement said.

Source: Emirates News Agency

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