Philippines Signs onto Multilateral Tax Assistance Convention

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In a move aimed at streamlining its tax processes, the Philippines has become the 68th nation to sign on to the Multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters. Kim Jacinto Henares, Commissioner of the country’s Bureau of Internal Revenue, signed the agreement in Paris on September 26th.

The signing was hailed by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), which stated that the agreement will be of critical importance for the Philippines as it seeks to implement the OECD Standard for Automatic Exchange of Financial Account Information in Tax Matters.

At the signing ceremony of the tax agreement, Commissioner Henares stated that “[the Philippines] highly looks forward to becoming a party to the Convention. As the Philippines continues to grow, the government continues to look for ways to increase revenues to support this growth and ensure that critical investments in infrastructure and social services for our people are amply funded.”

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The tax convention’s purpose is aimed at providing a tool for jurisdictions to implement the automatic exchange of tax information with multiple partners. In particular, the agreement allows tax authorities to request information from revenue agencies belonging to other countries that have signed the agreement, as well as to request help in collecting outstanding tax debts.

The Philippine government hopes that the signing of the agreement will provide the country with a quick way of growing its tax treaty network from 28 to 59 partners. In addition, the country hopes to save time and money on the process of negotiating and updating bilateral tax treaties.

The agreement must now be ratified internally before entering into full force in the Philippines.

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