The Global Forum has 120 members and is the premier international body re: implementation of internationally agreed transparency standards and exchange of information. This Forum is very active in today’s tax environment, as demonstrated by its recent activities including:
- 2nd meeting of the Competent Authorities on 30-31 May 2013, attended by 174 delegates from 77 jurisdictions. Delegates shared procedures for Exchange of Information networks to tackle tax evasion, tools to enhance effective communication between Competent Authorities, as well as providing opportunities to share experiences and practices.
- Regional Training Seminar in Brazil 7-10 May 2013, attended by 70 tax administrators from Argentina, Brazil, Columbia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Paraguay and Uruguay. Panama and the United Kingdom provided expert trainers, focusing on an OECD overview of Exchange of Information, the 2012 update to Article 26 of the OECD Model Tax Convention and its Commentary, and the Multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance.
- Regional Training Seminar in Dakar, Senegal 24-26 April 2013, attended by 20 tax authorities in 8 francophone African countries (Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Morocco, Niger, Senegal and Tunisia). The African countries are recent members of the Global Forum and will have Phase 1 peer reviews in 2014. Belgium and Qatar provided expert trainers, focusing on the peer review process and preparation for evaluation of legal and regulatory frameworks for the exchange of information.
The activities of this Forum are visibly expanding transparency initiatives and the exchange of information around the world. The recent G8 conference encouraged all countries to join in order to share mutual benefits.
Regional and global tax teams should review internal processes to ensure global consistency and adherence with internal governance protocols. Additionally, a dialogue should be established between tax and the business leaders to heighten global awareness and ensure strategic alignment.