All governments of the Group of twenty(G20)countries on Thursday agreed on a multilateral convention to tackle tax evasion more effectively during the group’s summit in the French resort of Cannes, bringing total number of the convention’s signatories to 34.
"Today we have taken a major step forward to improve global tax cooperation," said OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurria.
Gurria, who is in Cannes for the summit, also expressed his hope to continue to work with the G20 and other countries to maximize international cooperation on tax issues.
The Multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters was developed jointly by the Council of Europe and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and opened for signature by the member states of both organizations on 25 January 1988.
Providing various forms of administrative co-operation between states in the assessment and collection of taxes, the convention aims to promote international cooperation for a better operation of national tax laws, while respecting the fundamental rights of taxpayers.
Previously, six countries of the Group of Twenty had already signed the convention. The remaining 13 countries approved it on Thursday night, Jeffrey Owens, Director of the OECD’s Centre for Tax Policy and Administration told Xinhua.
Now that the signatories to the Convention added to 34, "it’s a very big step forward," Owens added.
"We expect the number to increase very fast" as the G20 countries have set up an example and taken "forward the agenda on better tax appliance," he said.
This convention works as complement to other initiatives such as that of the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes, supported by the OECD and backed by 105 countries including China.