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Exchange of Information. Douglas Rankin Tax Treaty Team. TIEAs. Background to TIEAs Comparison of TIEAs and DTAs What you need to request information under a TIEA. Background to TIEAs. OECD 1998 report on Harmful Tax Practices tax havens invited to make commitment to EOI

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Exchange of Information

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Presentation Transcript

Exchange of information

Exchange of Information

Douglas Rankin

Tax Treaty Team



  • Background to TIEAs

  • Comparison of TIEAs and DTAs

  • What you need to request information under a TIEA

Background to tieas

Background to TIEAs

  • OECD 1998 report on Harmful Tax Practices

  • tax havens invited to make commitment to EOI

  • TIEAs – for use between OECD countries and committed jurisdictions

  • Model Agreement

  • G20: new impetus; lots of recently signed agreements

Comparison of tieas and dtas


“foreseeably relevant”

potentially all taxes covered (but up to parties to agree)

info on request only

criminal / civil tax matters

jurisdiction / “possession or control” test

grounds for refusal

use and disclosure: taxes covered by the TIEA


“forseeably relevant”

old DTAs only cover direct taxes, newer DTAs usually cover all taxes

spontaneous and automatic exchanges also possible

use and disclosure: taxes covered by DTA (or by the EOI Article of DTA if that is wider)

Comparison of TIEAs and DTAs

What you need to request information under a tiea

What you need to request information under a TIEA

  • Taxpayer’s identity

  • Describe the info/evidence/assistance you want and the form in which you would prefer to receive it

  • Tax purpose (and why info wanted is relevant to that tax)

  • Grounds for believing that the info is in the other territory or in the possession or control of a person there

  • Name and address of person who has the info (if known)

  • A statement that the request conforms with your law and with the TIEA, and that if the information was in the requesting state that the requesting state could obtain it

  • A statement that the requesting state has pursued all means available domestically to obtain the info

G20 developments

G20 Developments

  • White /Grey/Black lists + declarations

  • Belgium,Luxembourg,Switzerland,Austria

  • Other financial centres

  • Liechtenstein

Resource implications

Resource Implications

  • Negotiating

  • Legislating

  • Administration

  • Integrity

  • Reciprocity

Outward requests

Outward requests

  • EOI team handles outward requests from other directorates within HMRC

    Local compliance,Special Investigations

    LBS, Criminal Investigations, Debt Management and Banking

    EOI team check outward requests and change if necessary

Domestic information powers

Domestic Information Powers

  • An officer of HMRC can by notice in writing require information and documents from

  • A taxpayer

  • A third party

    If the information or document is reasonably required to check tax position.

Information powers

Information Powers

  • The word ‘tax’ is defined in the legislation to include ‘relevant foreign tax’

  • The powers can be used to obtain information and documents to exchange with a treaty partner

Third party notices safeguards

Third Party Notices; Safeguards

  • A notice to a third party must name the taxpayer to whom it relates

  • A notice can only be issued with either

    The agreement of the taxpayer, or

    The agreement of the First-tier Tribunal

    The First-tier Tribunal is a judicial body, wholly independent of HMRC.

Third party notices safeguards1

Third Party Notices;Safeguards

  • The Tribunal may not approve the notice unless

    It is authorised by a senior officer of HMRC

    Tribunal is satisfied that the notice is justified

    The third party has received an informal request and has had the opportunity to make…

Third party notices limitations

Third Party Notices ; Limitations

  • There are restrictions on what kinds of information and documents can be obtained , consistent with limitations described in OECD Model agreements and commentaries.

Third party notices procedure

Third Party Notices;Procedure

  • UK competent authority receives request from treaty partner for information from a UK third party

  • EOI caseworker reviews

  • EOI caseworker prepares papers for Tribunal

  • Senior Officer reviews/ approves.

Third party notices procedure1

Third Party Notices;Procedure

  • Informal request and documents sent to third party

  • Summary of reasons sent to taxpayer

  • Application to Tribunal, together with representations

  • If approved formal notice to third party

  • Copy to taxpayer

  • Info/docs received and exchanged

Uk experience


  • Recent Protocols/TIEAS

  • Austria/Switzerland/Luxembourg

  • Liechtenstein

  • Whistleblowers

Future developments

Future Developments

  • Peer review process

  • Multi-lateral agreements

  • Automatic exchange

  • Joint audits

  • Login