Panama & the Cook Islands agree on Automatic Exchange of Information

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The two countries’ officials have committed to participate in the AEOI, and according to OECD all major financial centres have signed up to the standard.
The two jurisdictions will start exchanging foreign residents’ bank account information with 94 other OECD Forum countries from 2018. These are the last of the major international financial centres to sign up to the OECD’s drive to initiate the international tax cooperation standard.

All major financial centres have already signed-up to the standard. Apart from the following countries, Bahrain, Nauru and Vanuatu have either not indicated a timeline considering the implementation of the standard or have not committed yet to AEOI.

The OECD also announced the amendment on its information exchange protocol which will soon include a requirement to maintain and disclose information on beneficial ownership for all legal entities. This is expected to be introduced next year.

During the meeting reviews were announced regarding each jurisdiction’s compliance in terms of the tax information exchange rules applied in practice. According to the announcements, Costa Rica and Samoa were assessed as partially compliant; Luxembourg, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Cyprus, and the Seychelles as mostly compliant; with Colombia being regarded as fully compliant.

The jurisdictions of Panama, Dominica and Brunei Darussalam, which had previously failed their assessments, concerning their legislative frameworks, are now considered to be ready for evaluation.