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HMRC internal manual

International Exchange of Information Manual

Legal framework for exchange: The role of the OECD

The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) is an international body, made up of member countries from around the world, whose aim is improving economic and social welfare. The UK is a member of the OECD.

One of their key roles is the facilitation and promotion of tax transparency.  To this end, the OECD provide a toolkit of model agreements, together with commentaries, that create a stable starting-point for jurisdictions to negotiate bilateral agreements, including for tax information exchange.

The commentary to the model tax convention is a useful tool in interpreting certain key terms and concepts in exchange of information, such as foreseeable relevance (IEIM101300).  Although there is no case law in the UK directly relating to the application of the commentary in terms of information exchange, on other Articles UK courts have seen the commentary as informative but not definitive.

The OECD also administrate the Multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters (IEIM210300), and provide a secretariat for the administration of Multilateral Competent Authority Agreements (IEIM202100). 

There is more information on the OECD’s website on their roles in tax treaties and tax transparency.