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Common Reporting Standard: OECD launches scheme disclosure facility
11/05/2017

In an effort to prevent the dilution of CRS, the OECD launched in early May a disclosure facility on its Automatic Exchange Portal. It is intended that this disclosure facility will be used by interested parties to disclose potential schemes that have been discovered as being created with the intention of circumventing CRS.

The disclosure facility is one element of a broader process that is being implemented for the early identification of actual or perceived gaps in CRS with the aim of systematically analysing and plugging any loopholes. Disclosure on the portal can be made anonymously.

As part of the ongoing implementation process, jurisdictions that are a party to CRS are required to introduce effective anti-abuse measures and take steps to enforce those measures to prevent the reporting and due diligence obligations being avoided.

The disclosure portal is one element of a wider process the OECD has introduced to respond to schemes that may be created with the intention to avoid CRS reporting obligations.

The three pillars are: Intelligence Gathering - through state and private institutions and organisations, together with whistle blowers;  Analysis of Reported Schemes to address any actual or perceived lacuna in CRS rules; and Action to ensure coherent application of CRS by sharing information and the development of best practice.

It is hoped that the disclosure facility, together with the three pillars will maintain the integrity of CRS, aided by the ongoing peer reviews process conducted by the Global Forum on Tax Transparency.

The Automatic Exchange Portal can be accessed at http://www.oecd.org/tax/automatic-exchange/common-reporting-standard/

At the same time as announcing the disclosure facility, the OECD also announced that there are now in excess of 1,800 bilateral agreements in place globally, with the majority based on the Multilateral Competent Authority Agreement. Ahead of the activation round in July 2018, many of the early adopters are already exchanging in 2017.

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