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Philippines signs multilateral convention on tax cooperation

On Friday the Philippines became the 68th signatory of the Multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters, an international instrument developed jointly by the OECD and the Council of Europe to fight international tax avoidance and evasion. The Philippines has to ratify the Convention before it can come into force.

“The signature of the Convention by the Philippines is quite timely as it will facilitate its implementation of the OECD Standard for Automatic Exchange of Financial Account Information in Tax Matters published last July,” the OECD said. The Standard requires governments to collect detailed account information about non-residents from their financial institutions and exchange it automatically with other jurisdictions on an annual basis.

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“Signing the agreement gives the Philippines an efficient and expeditious way of increasing our tax treaty network from 28 to 59 treaty partners, saving time, financial, and human resources spent on negotiating and updating bilateral tax treaties, which usually take five to ten years to complete,” a statement from the Philippines Department of Finance said.

“The agreement also grants the country a valuable tool for fighting tax evasion and improves international compliance of taxpayers, allowing the BIR [Bureau of Internal Revenue] to obtain jurisdiction over non-resident taxpayers who have tax liabilities in the Philippines. Being a party offers the Philippines several forms of assistance, including automatic exchange of information, assistance in recovery, service of documents, and the freezing of assets,” the statement added.

“Every tool we use to enhance our country’s revenue generating capacity is a weapon we take to the fight for every Filipino’s right to have quality public goods and services,” said Kim Jacinto Henares, the Commissioner of the BIR.



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