G20 agrees on wider international tax cooperation

Updated: 2011-11-04 07:20


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CANNES, France - All governments of the Groupof twenty (G20) countries on Thursday agreed on a multilateralconvention to tackle tax evasion more effectively during the group's summit in the French resort of Cannes, bringing total number ofthe convention's signatories to 34.

"Today we have taken a major step forward to improve global taxcooperation," said OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurria.

Gurria, who is in Cannes for the summit, also expressed hishope to continue to work with the G20 and other countries tomaximize international cooperation on tax issues.

The Multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistancein Tax Matters was developed jointly by the Council of Europe andthe Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and opened for signature by the member states of bothorganizations on 25 January 1988.

Providing various forms of administrative co-operation betweenstates in the assessment and collection of taxes, the conventionaims to promote international cooperation for a better operationof national tax laws, while respecting the fundamental rights of taxpayers.

Previously, six countries of the Group of Twenty had alreadysigned the convention. The remaining 13 countries approved it on Thursday night, Jeffrey Owens, Director of the OECD's Centre forTax Policy and Administration told Xinhua.

Now that the signatories to the Convention added to 34, "it'sa very big step forward," Owens added.

"We expect the number to increase very fast" as the G20countries have set up an example and taken "forward the agenda onbetter tax appliance," he said.

This convention works as complement to other initiatives suchas that of the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange ofInformation for Tax Purposes, supported by the OECD and backed by105 countries including China.