Albanian gov’t approves law on automatic exchange of information for offshore accounts

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times January 31, 2020 08:52

Albanian gov’t approves law on automatic exchange of information for offshore accounts

Story Highlights

  • “The automatic information exchange system will provide better control of double taxation agreements as well as a verification system for the taxpayers' income and will reduce tax evasion.”

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TIRANA, Jan. 31 – On Thursday, the Albanian Parliament approved the law on ‘On the automatic exchange of information on financial accounts’ , thus including Albania in the system of information exchange on offshore accounts. This is based on the newly established global standards on information exchange, which aims to increase the transparency of financial offshore accounts, including their balance sheets and assets.

The Minister of Economy and Finance, Anila Denaj, addressed the approval of the law through an online written post, stating that it will establish the necessary framework and pave the way for the exchange of information on offshore accounts.

According to Denaj, this legal initiative will help fight tax evasion and prevent money laundering in addition to making some of the EU member states’ expectations of Albania a reality.

“The automatic information exchange system will provide better control of double taxation agreements as well as a verification system for the taxpayers’ income and will reduce tax evasion. Increasing the integrity of systems, most importantly that of taxation, is a common interest of Albania and our strategic partners,” Denaj said, adding that the Albanian government currently cooperates with the countries of the region and those of the European Union and implements 41 ratified agreements for the avoidance of double taxation and the prevention of tax evasion. 

The Law on Automatic Exchange of Information on Financial Accounts 

There are a number of companies operating in Albania that are registered in several tax havens, which in many cases have raised cause for concern over their transparency.

According to the newly established global standard, a wide range of information on offshore accounts will be exchanged, including the balance sheets of accounts and assets. This will facilitate the prevention of tax evasion and tax fraud, as they not only decrease public revenue, but add to the burden on regular taxpayers. This is not the first step that Albania has taken to achieve similar standards; the country has been a member of the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes since November of 2012. The Global Forum is the largest international organisation in the field of information exchange for tax purposes against fiscal evasion, supported by G20. Its most important project is the Peer Review, which is drafted for each of the member states and involves the careful assessment of the legal framework and regulatory bodies as well as the practice of the tax information exchange system.

After the legal framework and regulatory bodies assessment in 2019, Albania was evaluated by the Forum regarding the second phase which involves the implementation of the standards in practice. The Forum recommended the drafting of primary and secondary legal acts towards the implementation of the automatic exchange of information between the countries which have signed the multilateral agreement; the Common Reporting Standard aims to engage member countries in the increase of transparency of the tax system.

 

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times January 31, 2020 08:52