Monaco's first tax transparency progress report has been released by the OECD.
Last week the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes met in Singapore and issued its first phase of peer reviews covering the legal and regulatory frameworks for transparency and exchange of tax information in 8 countries, including Monaco.
After its removal from the black list of uncooperative countries a year ago the Principality has been busy signing tax information exchange agreements with other countries. In order to ensure OECD standards of tax transparency are met, it has been undergoing a monitoring process, the results of which were published in the Singapore review.
The report describes the Principality's rules for ensuring that information is available, how it can be accessed by competent authorities and the mechanisms in place to exchange the information with foreign tax authorities. Reviewers were satisfied with some standards, but expressed a need for improvement in others. These concerned the identity of shareholders, trusts and foundations, and the general lack of guarantees on the availability of information that may be requested by foreign authorities. Another sticking point was the absence of Great Britain and Italy as signatory countries, both of which have strong ties with Monaco.
The Principality's response to the issues is printed in an appendix to the report, where it confirms that 24 agreements have now been signed, 7 of which are now in effect. A second stage of reviews will take the response into account and will be reported on by 2012.
The other 7 countries for which reports were issued were Bermuda, Bostwana, Cayman Islands, India, Jamaica, Panama and Qatar. Common deficiencies were identified for all states relating to information access on nominees, trusts and the need to maintain good accounting records.