The OECD's Global Tax Transparency Forum Phase 2 Peer Review Process Continues

2016 July: The OECD’s Global Tax Transparency Forum Phase 2 peer review process continues with Switzerland, the world’s largest financial centre in terms of funds under custody, having now attained the rating of “largely compliant”.

The Cook Islands attained the same rating in March 2015.

Despite the rating given, some of Switzerland's continuing practices, such as the toleration of bearer shares in some circumstances were criticised in the OECD report, as was its regime concerning the availability of beneficial ownership and identity information.

Phase 2 peer reviews check that a jurisdiction is actually following the tax transparency practices set out in its legislative framework and in international agreements for exchange of information on request.

A new peer review round on the exchange of information on request is expected to begin later this year to assess whether standards are being maintained and improvements made where required. It is not clear yet when the Cook Islands next peer review will take place, but it is clear that the Cook Islands remains committed to meeting its international obligations and ahead of many of its peers in this regard.