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The Exchange of Tax Information Portal is an initiative of the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes. The Global Forum conducts peer reviews of its member jurisdictions' ability to co-operate with other tax administrations in accordance with the internationally agreed standard. The standard provides for exchange of information on request where it is foreseeably relevant to the administration and enforcement of the domestic tax laws of the requesting jurisdiction. Effective exchange of information requires that jurisdictions ensure information is available, that it can be obtained by the tax authorities and that there are mechanisms in place allowing for the exchange of that information. The Global Forum's peer review process examines both the legal and regulatory aspects of exchange (Phase 1 reviews) and the exchange of information in practice (Phase 2). The EOI Portal will track the development of these peer reviews, including changes that jurisdictions make in response to the Global Forum's recommendations.

Peer Review: Morocco Phase 2 report

This report for Morocco has been published on 4 Nov 2016. You can buy this report, or browse it online below.

Skip directly to the Executive Summary. You may also want to view the tables of determinations and ratings.


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Determinations and Recommendations

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.   Only limited companies and partnerships limited by shares can legally issue bearer shares in Morocco, which represents less than 9% of companies with share capital. Of these, only those that expressly included this possibility in their articles of association can issue such shares. The examination by the Moroccan authorities of the articles of association of all limited companies and partnerships limited by shares did not identify any companies that had included this option in their articles of association. Although a review of corporate records did not reveal that any bearer shares had been issued or were in circulation in Morocco, Morocco still allows limited companies and limited partners of partnerships limited by shares to issue them without having introduced arrangements whereby their holders can be identified under all circumstances.  Morocco should take the necessary measures to ensure that appropriate arrangements are in place such that the holders of bearer shares can be identified under all circumstances. 
There are no penalties to enforce the obligation for limited companies, which represent less than 9% of companies with share capital in Morocco, to maintain a share register and the obligation, for companies, to file and keep the originals of correspondence received and copies of correspondence sent.  Morocco should ensure that penalties exist in all cases for non-compliance with legal provisions relating to the identification of the owners of relevant entities. 
Phase 2 Rating Factors Recommendations
Partially Compliant.      
   
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, but certain aspects of the legal implementation of the element need improvement.   According to Moroccan laws, accounting records and supporting documentation must be kept for 10 years. However, there is no direct sanction for failure to respect this obligation, although dissuasive tax sanctions can be applied in this case. However, given the time-bar rules, the sanction for failure to keep accounting records or supporting documents beyond the four years of the time-bar is not guaranteed in certain situations.  Morocco must ensure that appropriate sanctions are applicable in all cases for non-compliance with the requirement to keep accounting records including supporting documentation for at least five years. 
Phase 2 Rating Factors Recommendations
Largely Compliant.      
Banking information should be available for all account-holders. (ToR A.3)
Determination Factors Recommendations
The element is in place.      
Phase 2 Rating Factors Recommendations
Compliant.      
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.      
Phase 2 Rating Factors Recommendations
Largely Compliant.   During the review period, the right to information of the tax administration, which is its main power to obtain information from third parties, did not include a compulsory time limit to reply. Moreover, the sanctions applicable for failure to respond to the right to information were not dissuasive. However, the provision relating to the right to information has been modified recently. Since 1st January 2016, the right to information includes a compulsory 30-day time limit to reply and dissuasive sanctions.  Morocco should monitor the effective application of the new provisions regarding the right to information in practice. 
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.      
Phase 2 Rating Factors Recommendations
Compliant.      
Exchange of information mechanisms should provide for effective exchange of information. (ToR C.1)
Determination Factors Recommendations
The element is in place, but certain aspects of the legal implementation of the element need improvement.   8 of the tax agreements signed by Morocco before 2014 as well as the Multilateral Convention signed on 21 May 2013, which offers Morocco 54 potential new EOI partners, are still not in force in Morocco.  Morocco must ensure that the EOI agreements it signs enter into force rapidly. 
Phase 2 Rating Factors Recommendations
Largely Compliant.      
The jurisdictions' network of information exchange mechanisms should cover all relevant partners. (ToR C.2)
Determination Factors Recommendations
The element is in place.     Morocco should continue to extend its EOI network in compliance with the standard. 
Phase 2 Rating Factors Recommendations
Compliant.      
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.      
Phase 2 Rating Factors Recommendations
Compliant.      
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.      
Phase 2 Rating Factors Recommendations
Compliant.      
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.      
Phase 2 Rating Factors Recommendations
Partially Compliant.   Over the review period, Morocco was only occasionally able to provide timely responses to its partners. Thus, the 90-day response rate is just 17%; only 42% of requests from Morocco’s partners received a response within a year, and 28% of requests are still awaiting a response. However, Morocco improved its response times immediately after the review period and this progress should improve further with the implementation of an EOI unit and the publication of an EOI manual.  Morocco should ensure that it responds in a timely manner to all EOI requests from its EOI partners.