International Exchange of Information in Tax Matters

International Exchange of Information in Tax Matters

Towards Global Transparency

Xavier Oberson

Following the financial crisis of 2008 and various scandals around the world there has been a global movement towards the international exchange of information and greater transparency. This book provides a comprehensive overview of the main developments, the structure and content of the various existing instruments and models (such as double taxation treaties, TIEA, the multinational convention from the OECD, the European Directives, FATCA and the Swiss Rubik model), and also the new standard toward automatic exchange of information. Xavier Oberson's analysis highlights their interactions and complexities. He concludes by discussing the position and the rights of taxpayers.

Chapter 14: Legal protection of the taxpayer

Xavier Oberson

Subjects: law - academic, commercial law, private international law, tax law and fiscal policy


Chapter 14, finally, investigates the extent to which rights of taxpayers may be of any relevance during the various processes of exchange of information and how these rights apply. It starts with a description of potential relevant rights. In this context, a distinction is drawn between substantive rights, namely human and constitutional rights, which could be infringed during the investigations by the tax administration, on the one hand, and procedural rights, applicable during the various phases of exchange of information, on the other hand. The chapter then focuses on the protection of taxpayers under international tax treaties and the potential application of rights granted by the European Convention on Human Rights during the exchange of information process. It also includes an analysis of the protection rules of taxpayers at the EU level (data protection rules) and notably the impact of the Sabou case of the European Court of Justice, as well as the implication of constitutional rules. Finally, the chapter describes how these substantive and procedural rights are applied during the exchange of information process.

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