DUBLIN: The OECD issued a batch of peer review reports on the tax and financial transparency of 10 jurisdictions, giving Norway and Ireland top ratings while finding Canada, Germany, and Australia have room to improve. Jamaica was rated as only “partially compliant,” with the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) citing the lack of a legal framework to ensure that beneficial ownership information is maintained and available. All of the other countries reviewed received a rating of “largely compliant” or higher. The review is part of the implementation of the common reporting standard, a Group of 20-led effort for nations to exchange tax and financial information in the hopes of cracking down on tax evasion and avoidance. The latest group of peer review reports follows up on an initial assessment made in 2011.
The OECD’s Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes completed the reviews. The OECD gave “compliant” ratings to Ireland, Mauritius, and Norway, while rating Australia, Bermuda, Canada, the Cayman Islands, Germany, and Qatar as “largely compliant.” In the cases of Canada and Australia, both nations’ scores dipped since their 2011 review, due to the failure to implement new standards on the availability of ownership identity, and other accounting information, according to the OECD reports. In the case of Germany, the OECD complained that a restriction on bearer shares-equity in a corporation granted through a physical stock certificate-doesn’t apply retroactively. It also highlighted practical issues with Germany’s implementation of the standards, including that “some of Germany’s partners still have pointed to delays and difficulties in terms of communication.”