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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: Peer Review Report Phase 1 Legal and Regulatory Framework - Lebanon

This report for Lebanon has been published on 20 Jun 2012. 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 not in place.   Bearer shares and to order shares may be issued by joint stock companies and partnerships limited by shares and adequate mechanisms to ensure that the owners of such shares can be identified are not in place.  Lebanon should ensure that appropriate mechanisms are in place to identify the owners of bearer and to order shares in all instances. 
Lebanese law does not ensure that information identifying the settlors, trustees and beneficiaries of foreign trusts with a Lebanese trustee is available, in particular when the trustees is acting outside the financial industry and thus not subject to AML obligations.  Lebanon should ensure that information is available identifying the settlors, trustees and beneficiaries of foreign trusts which are administered in Lebanon or in respect of which a trustee is resident in Lebanon. 
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.   Lebanese legislation does not ensure that reliable accounting records or underlying documentation are kept for foreign trusts which are administered in Lebanon or in respect of which a trustee is resident in Lebanon.  Lebanon should establish obligations for the maintenance of reliable accounting records, including underlying documentation, for foreign trusts which are administered in Lebanon or in respect of which a trustee is resident in Lebanon. These records should be kept for a minimum of 5 years. 
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 not in place.   Lebanese authorities do not have access to information held by banks, fiduciary institutions and other institutions within the financial industry, for tax purposes.  Lebanon should ensure the authorities have the power to obtain and provide information that is the subject of a request under an exchange of information arrangement from any bank, fiduciary institution or other financial institution within its territorial jurisdiction. 
Although the Lebanese competent authority can exchange any information already in its possession, it is unclear whether it has powers to access information for exchange purposes when the information is not required for it has own tax purposes.   Lebanon should make clear that its competent authority has the power to obtain and provide information that is the subject of a request under a DTC or a TIEA from any person within its territorial jurisdiction who is in possession or control of such information, even if it does not need the information for its own tax purposes.  
The scope of the professional secrecy safeguards appears to be broader than the professional secrecy protected under the international standard.  Lebanon should ensure that its professional secrecy rules do not operate to prevent exchange of information in accordance 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 not in place.   None of Lebanon’s treaties provides for effective exchange of information to the standard due to restrictions on access to information, in particular bank information regardless of their form.  Lebanon should enact necessary legislation to remove deficiencies noted in this report, which will enable it to comply with and give effect to its EOI agreements. 
The jurisdictions' network of information exchange mechanisms should cover all relevant partners. (ToR C.2)
Determination Factors Recommendations
The element is not in place.   Lebanon cannot exchange information with its relevant partners in accordance with the international standard under any of its agreements.  Lebanon should continue to develop its EOI network to ensure it has agreements for exchange of information to the standard 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.      
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.