On 21 April 2017 at the OECD Headquarters the Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to France signed the Multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters.
This Convention is the main instrument for international tax cooperation. It provides for all known forms of administrative assistance in tax matters: exchange of information on request, spontaneous exchange, automatic exchange, tax examinations abroad, simultaneous tax examinations and assistance in tax collection.
Furthermore, the Convention is a legally binding primary document in relation to the Standard for Automatic Exchange of Financial Account Information in Tax Matters (CRS) developed by the OECD and the G20 countries. Therefore, signing and subsequent ratification of the Convention will allow the UAE to fulfil their commitment to begin the first automatic exchange of bank account information in 2018.
The Convention was developed by the OECD and the Council of Europe in 1988, and as amended by the Protocol 2010 it was opened for signature by all countries. Currently the Convention has been signed by 109 countries and territories, and has entered into force for 93 of them.
The UAE abstained from signing such kind of documents for a long time, however today we witness a start of the Emirates’ legal accession to the international tax information exchange system. In case of ratification and entry into force of the Convention, the UAE will be obliged to transfer tax information at request of competent authorities of other countries.