Tuesday, November 14, 2017
Qatar has become the 115th jurisdiction to sign the Multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters.
The Convention is touted by the OECD as "the most powerful instrument for international tax cooperation." It provides for all forms of administrative assistance in tax matters: exchange of information on request, spontaneous exchange, automatic exchange, tax examinations abroad, simultaneous tax examinations, and assistance in tax collection. It guarantees extensive safeguards for the protection of taxpayers' rights.
The Convention can also be used to swiftly implement the transparency measures of the OECD/G20 Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) Project, such as the automatic exchange of Country-by-Country reports under Action 13 as well as the sharing of rulings under Action 5 of the BEPS Project.
Qatar has also signed the Common Reporting Standard Multilateral Competent Authority Agreement. The OECD said the signing re-confirms Qatar's commitment to implementing automatic exchange of financial account information, pursuant to the Common Reporting Standard, in time for the first automatic exchanges of tax information to begin in 2018. Qatar is the 96th jurisdiction to sign the instrument.
Qatar and Caribbean territory Saint Kitts and Nevis have also newly decided to join the BEPS Inclusive Framework under the OECD's BEPS Project, committing both to participate in ongoing peer review processes and the development of future policies to tackle BEPS and to implement the BEPS minimum standards.
By implementing the BEPS minimum standards, the countries pledge to remove harmful tax provisions in their domestic tax regimes, amend their tax treaty rules to prevent treaty abuse, implement rules for the provision of country-by-country reports and require the exchange of these reports with other countries, and work together to improve cross-border tax dispute resolution mechanisms.