Antigua and Barbuda becomes the 125th jurisdiction to join the most powerful multilateral instrument against offshore tax evasion and avoidance

Antigua and Barbuda today signed the Multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters. It is the 125th jurisdiction to join the Convention.   Her Excellency Karen-Mae Hill, High Commissioner of Antigua and Barbuda to the United Kingdom, signed the Convention in the presence of Deputy Secretary-General Masamichi Kono. At the signing ceremony, the High Commissioner said: “Today’s signing further evidences Antigua and Barbuda’s commitment to making the automatic exchange of financial account information pursuant to the Common Reporting Standard a reality in 2018. Prime Minister Gaston Browne and our technical team remain dedicated to taking a proactive role in fighting all forms of financial crime.”   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 the ideal instrument for the swift implementation of the OECD/G20 Common Repoting Standard, as well as automatic exchange of country-by-country reports under Action 13 of the Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) Project. It is also a powerful tool for the fight against illicit financial flows.   By signing the Convention, Antigua and Barbuda takes a further step in fighting tax evasion and avoidance and delivering its commitment to start CRS exchanges in 2018, building on its participation in the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes and its participation in the CRS Multilateral Competent Authority Agreement.