The OECD announced today that Luxembourg has signed an agreement for the exchange of bank information on request in all tax matters with the U.S., marking a major step forward in international efforts to counter tax evasion. The policy promoting organization said this is the first agreement by Luxembourg with an OECD country which meets the OECD standard for information exchange.

The two countries have modified an existing bilateral tax treaty dating from 1996 by adding a protocol that updates the information exchange provision of Article 28 of the treaty in accordance with the exchange of information standard of the OECD Model Tax Convention.

OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría welcomed the new Luxembourg-U.S. agreement: *“We have seen many endorsements of the OECD standards over the past two months and it is very encouraging to see how quickly countries are now moving to implement them.“* He added, *“A fundamental transformation is underway in international tax cooperation practices. I am particularly pleased that having recently withdrawn its reservation to the OECD standard on exchange of information Luxembourg has within a matter of weeks renegotiated its agreement with the United States to allow for the exchange of bank information on request in all tax matters.”*

Luxembourg recently signed an agreement with Bahrain that provides for exchange of information to the OECD standard. Similar negotiations are under way with other countries to update the exchange of information provisions in Luxembourg’s bilateral treaties with them.

On April 28 Luc Frieden, Treasury Minister, first announced that Luxembourg had reached agreement on the details of an accord with the USA to modify their 1996 Double Taxation Treaty.