G20 leaders commit to automatic exchange of tax information

“Profits should be taxed where economic activities deriving the profits are performed and where value is created”—so said the leaders of the G20 major economies as they endorsed the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD’s) global standard for automatic exchange of tax information at the G20 summit in Brisbane, Australia, on Sunday. The leaders committed their countries to automatically exchanging information with each other by the end of 2018, subject to the passage of enabling legislation in the affected countries.

Members of the G20 that had not before now signed on to the OECD’s information-exchange programme include Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and the US. The US has been pursuing similar information on its own under its Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act.

The OECD has been encouraging automatic exchange of financial information among countries as a way to prevent multinational companies from moving profits to low-tax jurisdictions.

Alistair Nevius ( is CGMA Magazine’s editor-in-chief, tax.