EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW & INSIGHTS
Tax policy and transparency are leading us hand-in-hand towards the financial future. To support this vision and the new Standard of Automatic Exchange of Information (AEOI) is the Global Forum. Based in the OECD Centre for Tax Policy and Administration, the Forum was re-structured in 2009 to allow for open membership, conduct peer reviews on information exchanges on request, and provide member countries with technical assistance. In 2013, the AEOI Group was formed as an internal voluntary group tasked with monitoring how AEOI is implemented, as well as providing member countries with the assistance they need to reap the benefits of automatic exchange of financial account information.
At the Tax Congress for Financial Institutions (TCFI) 2018, we sat down with Jeremiah Coder, Tax Policy Advisor at OECD/Global Forum Secretariat, to learn more about tax policy developments following his presentation on the ‘Tax Transparency Update: The Impact of Beneficial Ownership and AEOI on Financial Institutions’.
Following on from a background in tax policy and law, Jeremiah discussed his involvement with cutting-edge tax policy issues at the Global Forum. “I’ve worked in the Global Forum’s Technical Assistance Unit for about 2 years and our primary focus is providing members with assistance in meeting the requirements of the international tax transparency standards,” Jeremiah explains. “I would say the work is very broad and continues to expand, due to our growing membership. For new members, we offer a 3-year induction programme to help them implement the necessary legal frameworks and develop organisational practices for exchanging tax information (both on request and automatically).”
One of the key advantages that Jeremiah is passionate about is the degree of support the Global Forum offers its members. “With the addition of beneficial ownership to our 2016 terms of reference, we’ve experienced a lot of demand to provide technical assistance in legislative drafting and regulatory guidance, just to get them prepared to undergo a peer review,” Jeremiah highlights. “It’s very time-sensitive work and the assistance covers a lot of jurisdictional areas, not just tax. Nevertheless, it’s incredibly rewarding to see the progress that is being made by the individual jurisdictions as they utilise the benefits of their Global Forum membership, seeing the potential that the standard offers for their specific situation.”
Over the past 5 years, a growing number of developing countries have been very receptive to committing to the tax transparency standards through membership. “I certainly think there is a lot of enthusiasm for the benefits of membership. One of the drives is that members are joining likeminded jurisdictions to implement tax transparency and reduce tax evasion around the globe,” Jeremiah noted. “Upon joining, the hard work begins to bring together the right stakeholders and agencies to get them all onboard – for example, the Tax Authority, Commercial Registry, Central Bank, and other components that have interest in perpetuating tax transparency. This involves intense cooperation and good dialogue among authorities to ensure the necessary legal framework is there for these standards to exist.”