On 13 June, the State Secretary of the Ministry of Finance of Serbia Slavica SAVIČIĆ in the presence of the Deputy Secretary-General of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) signed the Council of Europe Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters, as amended by the 2010 Protocol, in OECD headquarters in Paris.
The Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters is the result of work carried out jointly by the Council of Europe and by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). The object of this Convention is to promote international co-operation for a better operation of national tax laws, while respecting the fundamental rights of taxpayers.
This treaty allows the Parties, the member States of the Council of Europe and the member countries of OECD, to develop, on common foundations and respecting the basic rights of tax-payers, extensive administrative co-operation covering all compulsory taxes, with the exception of customs duty. The types of assistance are varied, covering the exchange of information between Parties, simultaneous tax examinations and participation in tax examinations carried out in other countries, the recovery of taxes due in other Parties and notification of documents issued in other Parties.
Moreover, any State wishing to accede to the Convention may tailor the extend of its obligations, by virtue of a detailed system of reservations expressly provided for in the text; it may restrict its participation to certain types of mutual assistance or to assistance in connection with certain taxes.
This enhanced mutual assistance is intended to help combat tax evasion, and is accompanied by safeguards to protect tax-payers, whether individual or corporate, and national economies. Thus a Party may refuse to supply information when this would mean divulging trade, industrial or professional secrets, or to provide assistance in connection with a tax which it regards as incompatible with the generally accepted principles of taxation. Moreover, application of the Convention may not restrict the rights and guarantees accorded to individuals by the law of the assisting State. There are strict rules covering the secrecy of information obtained in application of the text.
Serbia is the 112th country to have signed the Convention, which has already been ratified by 100 countries.