International Financial Law Prof Blog

Editor: William Byrnes
Texas A&M University
School of Law

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Saint Lucia expands its capacity to fight international tax avoidance and evasion

Saint Lucia today signed the Multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters. Saint Lucia became the 107th jurisdictions to join the Convention. Hon. OECDAllen Michael Chastanet, Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, Economic Growth, Job Creation, External Affairs and Public Service, signed the Convention in the presence of the OECD Secretary-General, Angel Gurría.

The Convention provides for all forms of administrative assistance in tax matters: exchange of information on request, spontaneous exchange, automatic exchange, tax examinations abroad, simultaneous tax examinations and assistance in tax collection. It guarantees extensive safeguards for the protection of taxpayers' rights.

The Convention was developed jointly by the OECD and the Council of Europe in 1988 and amended in 2010 to respond to the call by the G20 to align it to the international standard on exchange of information and to open it to all countries, thus ensuring that developing countries could benefit from the new more transparent environment.

Since then, the Convention has become a truly global instrument. It is seen as the ideal instrument for the swift implementation of the standard on exchange of information on request and the new OECD/G20 Standard for Automatic Exchange of Financial Account Information in Tax Matters. The signing and ratification of the Convention is therefore very timely since Saint Lucia has already signed the CRS Multilateral Competent Authority Agreement (MCAA) based on Article 6 of the Convention to operationalise automatic exchange of financial account information. The Convention can also be used to swiftly implement the transparency measures of the OECD/G20 Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) Project such as the automatic exchange of Country-by-Country reports under Action 13 as well as the sharing of rulings under Action 5. A powerful tool for the fight against illicit financial flows the Convention also enables jurisdictions to implement the commitments they have each made as members of the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes.

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