European Committee on Legal Co-operation - Website
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The member States of the Council of Europe and the member countries of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), signatories of this Convention,
Considering that the development of international movement of persons, capital, goods and services although highly beneficial in itself has increased the possibilities of tax avoidance and eva-sion and therefore requires increasing co-operation among tax authorities;
Welcoming the various efforts made in recent years to combat tax avoidance and tax evasion on an international level, whether bilaterally or multilaterally;
Considering that a co-ordinated effort between States is necessary in order to foster all forms of administrative assistance in matters concerning taxes of any kind whilst at the same time ensuring adequate protection of the rights of taxpayers;
Recognising that international co-operation can play an important part in facilitating the proper determination of tax liabilities and in helping the taxpayer to secure his rights;
Considering that fundamental principles entitling every person to have his rights and obligations determined in accordance with a proper legal procedure should be recognised as applying to tax matters in all States and that States should endeavour to protect the legitimate interests of taxpayers, including appropriate protection against discrimination and double taxation;
Convinced therefore that States should not carry out measures or supply information except in conformity with their domestic law and practice, having regard to the necessity of protecting the confidentiality of information, and taking account of international instruments for the protection of privacy and flows of personal data;
Convinced therefore that States should carry out measures or supply information, having regard to the necessity of protecting the confidentiality of information, and taking account of international instruments for the protection of privacy and flows of personal data; (1)
Considering that a new co-operative environment has emerged and that it is desirable that a multilateral instrument is made available to allow the widest number of States to obtain the benefits of the new co-operative environment and at the same time implement the highest international standards of co-operation in the tax field; (2)
Desiring to conclude a convention on mutual administrative assistance in tax matters,
Have agreed as follows:
Chapter I Scope of the Convention
Article 1 Object of the Convention and persons covered
Article 2 Taxes covered
imposed on behalf of a Party; and
Chapter II General definitions
Article 3 Definitions
For each Party that has made a declaration for that purpose, the terms used above will be understood as defined in Annex C.
Chapter III Forms of assistance
Section I Exchange of information
Article 4 – General provision (3)
Article 5 Exchange of information on request
Article 6 Automatic exchange of information
With respect to categories of cases and in accordance with procedures which they shall determine by mutual agreement, two or more Parties shall automatically exchange the information referred to in Article 4.
Article 7 Spontaneous exchange of information
Article 8 Simultaneous tax examinations
Article 9 Tax examinations abroad
Article 10 Conflicting information
If a Party receives from another Party information about a person's tax affairs which appears to it to conflict with information in its possession, it shall so advise the Party which has provided the information.
Section II Assistance in recovery
Article 11 Recovery of tax claims
Article 12 Measures of conservancy
At the request of the applicant State, the requested State shall, with a view to the recovery of an amount of tax, take measures of conservancy even if the claim is contested or is not yet the subject of an instrument permitting enforcement.
Article 13 Documents accompanying the request
Article 14 Time limits
Article 15 Priority
The tax claim in the recovery of which assistance is provided shall not have in the requested State any priority specially accorded to the tax claims of that State even if the recovery procedure used is the one applicable to its own tax claims.
Article 16 Deferral of payment
The requested State may allow deferral of payment or payment by instalments if its laws or administrative practice permit it to do so in similar circumstances, but shall first inform the applicant State.
Section III Service of documents
Article 17 Service of documents
Chapter IV Provisions relating to all forms of assistance
Article 18 Information to be provided by the applicant State
Article 19 Deleted (4)
Article 20 Response to the request for assistance
Article 21 Protection of persons and limits to the obligation to provide assistance (3)
Article 22 Secrecy
Article 23 Proceedings
Chapter V Special provisions
Article 24 Implementation of the Convention
Article 25 Language
Requests for assistance and answers thereto shall be drawn up in one of the official languages of the OECD and of the Council of Europe or in any other language agreed bilaterally between the Contracting States concerned.
Article 26 Costs
Unless otherwise agreed bilaterally by the Parties concerned:
Chapter VI Final provisions
Article 27 Other international agreements or arrangements
Article 28 Signature and entry into force of the Convention
Article 29 Territorial application of the Convention
Article 30 Reservations
Article 31 Denunciation
Article 32 Depositaries and their functions
In witness whereof the undersigned, being duly authorised thereto, have signed this Convention.
Done at Strasbourg, the 25th day of January 1988, in English and French, both texts being equally authentic, in two copies of which one shall be deposited in the archives of the Council of Europe and the other in the archives of OECD. The Secretaries General of the Council of Europe and of OECD shall transmit certified copies to each member State of the Council of Europe and of the member countries of OECD.