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HMRC internal manual

International Exchange of Information Manual

Exchange of information: Types of exchange: Spontaneous

Spontaneous exchange happens when an officer in one tax authority spots something that they believe to be foreseeably relevant (IEIM101300) to another tax authority, and gives it to their Competent Authority (IEIM101400) to send on.

If you find something in the course of enquiry, or during in a meeting, which indicates that there is a tax impact in another jurisdiction, you should consider passing the information on.  (This content has been withheld because of exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act 2000)

IEIM113000 covers receiving spontaneous exchanges, and IEIM120200 has guidance on sending information spontaneously.

Spontaneous exchange is possible under most Double Tax Treaties (IEIM210100), as these do not specify, and thereby limit, the types of exchange possible. 

Tax Information Exchange Agreements (IEIM210200) have separate Articles for each type of exchange, and some older TIEAs may not allow for spontaneous exchange.  (This content has been withheld because of exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act 2000)

The OECD Multilateral Convention on Tax (IEIM210300) and the EU Directive on Administrative Cooperation (IEIM210400) both allow for spontaneous exchange.