HAVING REGARD to Article 5 b) of the Convention on the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development of 14 December 1960;

HAVING REGARD to the Recommendations of the Council of 11 April 1977 concerning the avoidance of double taxation and of 21 September 1977 concerning tax avoidance and evasion [C(77)40(Final), C(77)149(Final)];

HAVING REGARD to the Recommendation of the Council of 23 September 1980 concerning guidelines on the protection of privacy and trans border flows of personal data [C(80)58(Final)];

HAVING REGARD to the Recommendation of the Council of 5 May 1981 concerning a standardised form for automatic exchanges of information under international tax agreements [C(81)39(Final)];

CONSIDERING that most double taxation conventions signed by Member countries follow Article 26 of the Model Convention referred to above in providing for co-operation between the competent authorities of the Contracting States, in the form of exchanges of information necessary for carrying out the provisions of the convention or of their domestic laws concerning taxes covered by the Convention;

CONSIDERING that the joint Council of Europe/OECD Convention on mutual administrative assistance in tax matters could soon come into force;

CONSIDERING that the experience of OECD Member countries with the standardised form has over the last decade been positive;

CONSIDERING that recent developments in technologies have lead to an increasing use of a computerised format for automatic exchange of information;

CONSIDERING that the use of a standard magnetic format by Member countries for exchange of information will improve the accuracy and effectiveness of automatic exchange;

I.          RECOMMENDS to the Governments of Member countries:

To use the OECD standard magnetic format in appendix hereto, and which is an integral part of this Recommendation, when making automatic exchanges of tax information.

II.         INSTRUCTS the Committee on Fiscal Affairs:

To keep under review the use of such a standard format and to report back to the Council as appropriate.





Technical Introduction

The magnetic format essentially follows the order of the OECD standardised form with some necessary adaptation and updating. The ISO codes (International standards established by the International Organisation for Standardisation) are used as codes for countries, currencies, dates, definition of characters used, file structure and labelling of magnetic tapes.

In a tape or diskette the fields are organised as follows:

·         fields 1 to 16 are allocated to the recipient of the income:

·         beneficial owner;

·         fields 17 to 29 are allocated to the recipient of the income: agent or intermediary;

·         fields 30 to 42 are allocated to the actual payer of the income;

·         fields 43 to 54 are allocated to the agent or intermediary of the payer;

For each series the same pattern is followed for the name and address and special fields called fillers are reserved one to provide information on recent tax changes and another to allow for special arrangements on a bilateral basis.

Only the English version of the format will be used for the automatic exchange of information but a French translation is provided for information.

An OECD Standard media transmittal document and standard physical label are also provided.