Updated multilateral tax convention now open to all countries

On the 1st of June 2011 new amendments to the Multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters open the Convention to all countries, allowing them to benefit from cross border tax co-operation and information sharing

“The entry into force of the amended multilateral Convention marks an important step in the fight against tax evasion and I urge all countries to join” says OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría. “These amendments will help counter cross-border tax evasion and ensure compliance with national tax laws as acknowledged by G20 Leaders.”

The updated Convention, which incorporates internationally agreed standards for exchange of information in tax matters, is the most comprehensive multilateral instrument available for tax co-operation. Like the original 1988 Convention, it provides a wide range of tools for cross-border tax co-operation including exchange of information, multilateral simultaneous tax examinations, service of documents, and cross-border assistance in tax collection, while imposing extensive safeguards to protect the confidentiality of the information exchanged.

In the past year 20 countries have signed the amended Convention and more, including both OECD and non-OECD, developing and developed countries, are expected to follow shortly. Sweden deposited its instrument of approval on 27 May 2011. Poland is the latest Party to the amended Convention, having deposited its instrument of ratification on 31 May 2011.