Throughout the last number of years, tax authorities and governments have taken steps both unilaterally and in cooperation with each other to collect and exchange more information related to the tax affairs of individuals and companies than ever before.
This includes information on returns on financial products, the beneficial owners of property and related income, the beneficial owners of companies and trust beneficiaries as well as country-by-country information for large multinational groups and information on tax rulings as well as cross-border tax planning arrangements.
In this article, Liam Lynch, reviews the scope of some of the initiatives from the past few years and takes a look at what information collection and sharing initiatives are coming soon. Liam considers how the data collected is being analysed by tax authorities using new technologies which can highlight failures by taxpayers to disclose information and prompt tax compliance interventions.
The review includes initiatives taken by the European Union (EU) and globally under frameworks established by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) to enhance transparency and information exchange between countries on tax matters. It also includes unilateral tax compliance initiatives taken by Ireland and the United Kingdom (UK) which are designed to prompt taxpayers to include offshore taxable income and gains in their tax returns.