Croatia

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The phase 2 of Croatia is scheduled

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Table of Determinations and Ratings of the Phase 1 Review

Jurisdictions should ensure that ownership and identity information for all relevant entities and arrangements is available to their competent authorities. (ToR A.1)
Determination Factors Recommendations
The element is in place, but certain aspects of the legal implementation of the element need improvement.   The Croatian law allows circulation of bearer shares of joint stock companies issued prior to April 2008. However there are certain measures which allow identification of holders of these shares and the number of such shares is limited and cannot expand.  Croatia should take measures to ensure that information on all holders of bearer shares which are still in circulation is available. 
Ownership information on foreign companies having their place of effective management in Croatia and on foreign partnerships carrying on business in Croatia or deriving taxable income is not consistently available.  Croatia should ensure that ownership information on foreign companies with sufficient nexus with Croatia and on foreign partnerships carrying on business in Croatia or deriving taxable income is available in all cases. 
Jurisdictions should ensure that reliable accounting records are kept for all relevant entities and arrangements. (ToR A.2)
Determination Factors Recommendations
The element is in place.      
Banking information should be available for all account-holders. (ToR A.3)
Determination Factors Recommendations
The element is in place.      
Competent authorities should have the power to obtain and provide information that is the subject of a request under an exchange of information arrangement from any person within their territorial jurisdiction who is in possession or control of such information (irrespective of any legal obligation on such person to maintain the secrecy of the information). (ToR B.1)
Determination Factors Recommendations
The element is in place, but certain aspects of the legal implementation of the element need improvement.   Use of access powers regardless of domestic tax interest is not unambiguously provided for under EOI agreements which do not contain wording akin to Article 26(4) of the OECD Model Tax Convention.  Croatia should remove ambiguity concerning use of access powers regardless of domestic tax interest under EOI agreements which do not contain wording akin to Article 26(4) of the OECD Model Tax Convention.. 
Access to the shareholder register kept by a company is not unambiguously provided for especially under EOI agreements which do not contain wording akin to Article 26(5) of the OECD Model Tax Convention.  Croatia should remove potential ambiguity concerning access to the shareholder register kept by a company. 
Exception from obligation to provide information to the tax authority in respect of lawyers, tax consultants and auditors is too broad and goes beyond the standard as it covers all information obtained by them acting in their professional capacity.  Croatia should ensure that the scope of professional secrecy is in line with the international standard. 
The rights and safeguards (e.g. notification, appeal rights) that apply to persons in the requested jurisdiction should be compatible with effective exchange of information. (ToR B.2)
Determination Factors Recommendations
The element is in place.      
Exchange of information mechanisms should provide for effective exchange of information. (ToR C.1)
Determination Factors Recommendations
The element is in place.   An ambiguity under Croatian domestic law may prevent the Croatian competent authority from obtaining information regardless of domestic tax interest with 12 out of its 104 EOI partners.  Croatia should ensure that all its EOI relationships provide for exchange of information to the standard. 
The jurisdictions' network of information exchange mechanisms should cover all relevant partners. (ToR C.2)
Determination Factors Recommendations
The element is in place.     Croatia should continue to develop its exchange of information network with all relevant partners. 
The jurisdictions' mechanisms for exchange of information should have adequate provisions to ensure the confidentiality of information received. (ToR C.3)
Determination Factors Recommendations
The element is in place.      
The exchange of information mechanisms should respect the rights and safeguards of taxpayers and third parties. (ToR C.4)
Determination Factors Recommendations
The element is in place, but certain aspects of the legal implementation of the element need improvement.   Croatia’s EOI agreements do not define the term “professional secret” and the scope of this term under its domestic laws may have negative impact on effective exchange of information.  Croatia should ensure that the scope of professional secrecy under its domestic laws is in line with the international standard. 
The jurisdiction should provide information under its network of agreements in a timely manner. (ToR C.5)
Determination Factors Recommendations
The assessment team is not in a position to evaluate whether this element is in place, as it involves issues of practice that are dealt with in the Phase 2 review.      

Earlier self-assessment based annual reports entitled Tax Co-operation 2010: Towards a Level Playing Field are also available.