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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: Supplementary Report to Phase 1 Review - Estonia

This report for Estonia has been published on 20 Jun 2012. You can 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.   Companies incorporated in European Union member states or in jurisdictions with which Estonia has concluded an EOI agreement, and having sufficient nexus to Estonia (i.e. effective management in conjunction with a permanent establishment) are not required to maintain identity information concerning their owners. The availability of information that identifies the owners of such companies will generally depend on the law of the jurisdiction in which the company is incorporated and so may not be available in all cases.   Estonia should ensure the availability of ownership and identity information concerning all foreign companies with sufficient nexus to Estonia.  
Designation of the beneficiaries is not mandatory under the Foundations Act and it is unclear whether accounting information kept by the management board is sufficient to ascertain the identity of the beneficiaries.   An obligation should be established for foundations to ensure that information on the identity of the beneficiaries is systematically available to the competent authorities. 
Phase 2 Rating Factors Recommendations
     
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.      
Phase 2 Rating Factors Recommendations
     
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
     
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
     
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
     
Exchange of information mechanisms should provide for effective exchange of information. (ToR C.1)
Determination Factors Recommendations
The element is in place.      
Phase 2 Rating Factors Recommendations
     
The jurisdictions' network of information exchange mechanisms should cover all relevant partners. (ToR C.2)
Determination Factors Recommendations
The element is in place.     Estonia should continue to develop its exchange of information network with all relevant partners. 
Phase 2 Rating Factors Recommendations
     
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, but certain aspects of the legal implementation of the element need improvement.   According to Estonia’s interpretation of treaty provisions based on Article 26(2) of the OECD Model Convention, certain information received by Estonia under an EOI request may be classified as public information under Estonia domestic laws and as such may be disclosed to the public.  Estonia should ensure that all information received under an EOI request, regardless of how they are classified under Estonia’s domestic laws, are disclosed only to authorised persons under the DTCs. 
Phase 2 Rating Factors Recommendations
     
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
     
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