H.E Younis Haji Al Khoori, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Finance, inaugurated a workshop on maximizing the benefit derived from the Information Exchange Committees of Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). The workshop will seek to develop the legal framework for UAE participation in the OECD Committees.
The long term objective of MoF seeks to enhance cooperation and mutual relations with international institutions and organizations specialized in finance and economic development.
Held at MoF headquarters in Abu Dhabi, a team of OECD assessors participated in the workshop to outline the legal framework’s requirements. OECD will participate in the first phase of the UAE evaluation process at the end of the current month. Representatives of local and federal authorities participating in the workshop were informed of ways to present financial information related to companies operating in the UAE to MoF.
HE Younis Haji Al Khoori, Undersecretary of MoF, clarified that the workshop will aid MoF efforts to implement the federal government strategy to strengthen UAE's premier position at regional and international levels.
“The workshop demonstrates MoF commitment to implement the Ministerial Council for Services’ resolution (4/خ 4/45) for 2010, which assigned us to follow up and implement G20 resolutions regarding exchange of information. The resolution also approved MoF participation in OECD Information Exchange Committees and assigned it to coordinate with local departments to collect financial information of companies operating in the UAE,” HE Al Khoori added.
The workshop touched on OECD approved standards of exchanging information about tax collectors. These standards include freedom of access to accounting and property information. While participants can exchange banking and credit information without restriction and on demand, they need to respect the rights of taxpayers and the confidentiality of information exchanged.
The international review of UAE's commitment to these standards will begin on May 20, 2011. OECD classifies countries either in the white list (countries committed to standards), in the grey list (countries committed to standards but can’t implement them due to their need for technical assistance), or in the black list (countries not committed to standards and subject to international sanctions).
The UAE has signed 56 agreements for double taxation avoidance on income, achieving economic balance with signatory countries through reducing or exempting taxes on UAE’s sovereign investments, its private sector institutions and its national airlines.
Rachelle Boyle, Head of OECD Secretariat for Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes, participated in the workshop. Boyle is one of the OECD experts that assess UAE’s participation in OECD Information Exchange committees.
The workshop was0 attended by representatives of Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Economy, Securities and Commodities Authority, Dubai International Financial Centre, Insurance Commission, UAE Central Bank and Mubadala. It was also attended by representatives of Department of Finance in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Fujairah and Ras Al Khaimah, Sharjah Central Department of Finance, Ajman Financial and Administrative Affairs Department and Umm Al Quwain Financial and Administrative Affairs Department. Participants were also from Department of Legal Affairs – Dubai, and Departments of Economic Development in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Ras Al Khaimah and Umm Al Quwain, as well as participants from Department of Industry and Economics – Fujairah.