OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría has welcomed moves by more than 40 countries – reinforced by EU leaders – to commit to a detailed timetable to step up the fight against tax evasion.
The European Council last week [called on a number of European states](http://www.consilium.europa.eu/uedocs/cms_data/docs/pressdata/en/ec/141749.pdf) to join a group of “early adopter” countries committed to the new [single global standard for the automatic exchange of information](http://www.oecd.org/ctp/exchange-of-tax-information/automatic-exchange-of-financial-account-information.htm) between tax authorities, developed by the OECD. The early adopters have publicly [announced](http://www.oecd.org/tax/transparency/AEOIjointstatement.pdf) their commitment to implement the new standard on the basis of ambitious, specific and co-ordinated timelines. At the same time, Austria and Luxembourg dropped their objections to revision of the EU Savings Directive, thereby paving the way for its adoption today.
Mr Gurría said: *“The commitment by so many countries and jurisdictions to implement the OECD’s Global Standard on the basis of a specific and ambitious timetable is good news for everyone who wants to see a fair and transparent international tax system. The rapidity with which the new norms are being developed and agreed shows that the political momentum for reform is now overwhelming.”*
And he added: *“Adopting the new global standard is not just a question of establishing co-operation between states, it is also about restoring the trust of citizens in government.”*
The standard obliges countries and jurisdictions to exchange information obtained from their banks and financial institutions automatically on an annual basis.
G20 governments have mandated the OECD-hosted [Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes](http://www.oecd.org/tax/transparency/) to monitor and review implementation of the standard.
The OECD is expected to deliver a detailed Commentary on the new standard, as well as technical solutions to implement the actual information exchanges, during a meeting of G20 finance ministers in September 2014.
Further information on OECD work relating to the exchange of information on tax matters is available [here](http://www.oecd.org/tax/exchange-of-tax-information/).
Further information on the OECD’s active partnership with the G20 is available [here](http://www.oecd.org/g20/).