The OECD announced today that all G20 governments have agreed to a [multilateral Convention](http://www.oecd.org/document/14/0,3746,en_2649_33767_2489998_1_1_1_1,00.html) to tackle tax evasion more effectively.
According to the OECD, the Multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters offers a wide range of tools for cross-border tax co-operation. It includes automatic exchange of information, multilateral simultaneous tax examinations and international assistance in the collection of tax due. At the same time, the Convention imposes safeguards to protect the confidentiality of the information exchanged.
*“Today we have taken a major step forward to improve global tax cooperation”,* said OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría from the Cannes G20 Summit. *“The OECD looks forward to continuing to work with the G20 and other countries to maximize the benefits from this powerful multilateral instrument. Tax co-operation and compliance are of crucial importance for all countries and citizens – and not only in times of a tight fiscal and budgetary environment.”*
In 2009, the G20 called for action *‘to make it easier for developing countries to secure the benefits of the new cooperative tax environment, including a multilateral approach for the exchange of information’*. In response, the OECD and the Council of Europe developed a Protocol amending the Multilateral Convention to bring it in line with the international standard on exchange of information and to open it up to countries that are neither members of the OECD nor of the Council of Europe.
The instrument reinforces international cooperation to target tax evasion by both individuals and corporations. It complements other initiatives such as that of the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes, supported by the OECD, which already includes 105 countries in an extensive peer review process.
*“Now that the G20 countries have led by example, we expect other countries to sign the Convention,”* said Jeffrey Owens, Director of the OECD’s Centre for Tax Policy and Administration. *“As the membership expands, so the effectiveness of the Convention will increase. Over the coming months we will be working with developing countries so that they will rapidly be in a position to sign the Convention,”* he added.
##OECD Report on Bank Secrecy##
OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría presented a report on bank secrecy and tackling tax evasion to finance ministers at the Cannes G20 summit today.
##International Organisations Deliver a Report to the G-20 Development Working Group##
The IMF, OECD, UN and World Bank delivered a report to the G-20 Development Working Group – [Development of More Effective Tax Systems](http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/54/29/48993634.pdf). This new report responds to the G-20 Development Working Group request for a report on supporting the development of more effective tax systems in developing countries.
##Global Forum Reports to G-20##
A year and a half ago, leaders at the Seoul Summit asked the Global Forum to report on the status of the international standard on tax transparency at their Summit in Cannes on 3-4 November 2011.
See: [The Global Forum delivers to Heads of Government at the G20 Cannes Summit.](http://www.oecd.org/document/7/0,3746,en_21571361_44315115_48940615_1_1_1_1,00.html)
To meet this request, the Global Forum has adopted another 18 reports, bringing to 59 the total number of peer reviews completed: an average of 3 a month. These identify deficiencies, make recommendations on how to address them and, where the deficiencies are sufficiently serious, prevent a jurisdiction from moving on the next stage in the review process. Overall, these reports show that the level of compliance is high and that cooperation has been good. Many of the reports’ 370 recommendations to improve the exchange of information have already been acted upon. A small number of jurisdictions will not pass to the next stage of the review process because the deficiencies were sufficiently serious. Further details can be found in the Progress Report which will be submitted to the G20 and published as part of the Global Forum Annual Report immediately following the G20 Summit.