Central Bank and Ministry of Finance to share tax details

The Ministry of Finance and the Central Bank of the UAE yesterday agreed to share bank customers' tax-related information.

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The Ministry of Finance and the Central Bank of the UAE yesterday agreed to share bank customers' tax-related information, as the country looks to meet requirements related to the G20 nations' call to clamp down on global tax evasion.

The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) requires the Central Bank to provide the Ministry with all banking data relating to ownership, identity information and accounting records that may be required by those countries that have double taxation agreements with the UAE.

The "MoU in implementation of a Council of Ministers resolution, which authorises the … fulfilment of requirements of the OECD Global Forum for Transparency and Exchange of Information relating to bilateral agreements on double taxation.

"Such exchange of information may not be restricted by reasons of crime duplicity or local tax requirements," WAM reported yesterday.

The move is in line with continuing efforts to promote automatic data sharing between countries by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development's global transparency forum, which is "a freestanding multilateral agreement designed to promote international co-operation for a better operation of national tax laws, while respecting the fundamental rights of taxpayers".

Current signatories include Brazil, Canada, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, the United Kingdom and United States but not the UAE.

In April, the G20, led by the US and the European Union, again urged a co-ordinated efforts against tax evasion, calling on governments to systematically share bank data.

Currently, nations are only expected to provide such information on request. Under the automatic exchange that the OECD and G20 are pushing for, governments will routinely transfer all foreign taxpayers' data to home governments.

The Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, which requires Americans living overseas and non-American banks with US customers to meet tough financial disclosure requirements, has added to the pressure to comply.