In series:Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes: Peer Reviewsview more titles
Published on November 04, 2016
The Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes is the multilateral framework within which work in the area of tax transparency and exchange of information is carried out by over 130 jurisdictions which participate in the work of the Global Forum on an equal footing.
This report contains the revised Phase 1 + Phase 2 reviews for Bulgaria, now including ratings.
The Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes is the multilateral framework within which work in the area of tax transparency and exchange of information is carried out by 120 jurisdictions, which participate in the Global Forum on an equal footing. The Global Forum is charged with in-depth monitoring and peer review of the implementation of the international standards of transparency and exchange of information for tax purposes. These standards are primarily reflected in the 2002 OECD Model Agreement on Exchange of Information on Tax Matters and its commentary, and in Article 26 of the OECD Model Tax Convention on Income and on Capital and its commentary as updated in 2004. The standards have also been incorporated into the UN Model Tax Convention.
The standards provide for international exchange on request of foreseeably relevant information for the administration or enforcement of the domestic tax laws of a requesting party. Fishing expeditions are not authorised but all foreseeably relevant information must be provided, including bank information and information held by fiduciaries, regardless of the existence of a domestic tax interest or the application of a dual criminality standard.
All members of the Global Forum, as well as jurisdictions identified by the Global Forum as relevant to its work, are being reviewed. This process is undertaken in two phases. Phase 1 reviews assess the quality of a jurisdiction’s legal and regulatory framework for the exchange of information, while Phase 2 reviews look at the practical implementation of that framework. Some Global Forum members are undergoing combined – Phase 1 and Phase 2 – reviews. The Global Forum has also put in place a process for supplementary reports to follow-up on recommendations, as well as for the ongoing monitoring of jurisdictions following the conclusion of a review. The ultimate goal is to help jurisdictions to effectively implement the international standards of transparency and exchange of information for tax purposes.
All review reports are published once approved by the Global Forum and they thus represent agreed Global Forum reports.
The Combined review assessed Bulgaria’s legal framework as well as its implementation in practice. The report concludes that Bulgaria is overall largely compliant with the international standard on transparency and exchange of information. Nevertheless need for improvement was identified in respect of availability of ownership information on companies which can issue bearer shares and certain gap remains in respect of foreign companies and partnerships conducting business in Bulgaria and foreign trusts. The relevant laws and regulations are properly implemented in practice. However, supervisory and enforcement measures taken by the registration authority should be further strengthened. Bulgaria has in place processes and resources to ensure timely provision of the requested information in the majority of cases and it is considered by its peers an important and reliable EOI partner. For further information on the exchange of information practice of Lebanon and to read the full report click here.