Andorra strengthens its commitment on financial transparency

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andorra The Andorran Government has announced that Maria Ubach Ambassador of Andorra to France, signed the OECD’s Multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax matters in Paris. The convention, – which was modified by an amending protocol in May 2010, was originally adopted in Strasbourg on January 25, 1998. The Andorran Government’s signing of the Convention is part of continuing efforts (started in 2009 when they signed the Paris Declaration) towards international standards on financial transparency. Their aim is to consolidate the reputation and strength of their financial center with an eye to expanding its growth potential. Before the agreement can take effect, it is subject to the constitutional ratification process; the Andorran Government stressed that the existing 21 bilateral tax information exchange agreements will remain in place and in their current form. In 2009 the OECD recommended all countries sign the Convention; after the 2010 review, the convention became the main device for mutual assistance in tax matters, therefore assisting in the establishment of a fair and level playing field. The aforementioned convention is a multilateral one which aims to provide for all forms of mutual assistance such as: exchange on request, spontaneous exchange, tax examinations abroad, simultaneous tax examinations, and assistance in tax collection, whilst at the same time protecting the rights of the taxpayers’. It also includes an option for ‘automatic exchange’. This form of assistance requires an agreement between both parties. Andorra became the 60th signatory to the Multilateral Convention, showing its efforts to strengthen international tax cooperation, – This was welcomed by the OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurria, who was quoted as saying ‘Andorra has taken many positive steps towards greater tax transparency in the past four years.’ Gurria also noted the increase in signatories indicates ”the growing levels of international support for exchange of information on request, and foreshadows that automatic exchange of information will become the new international standard.’