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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: Curaçao Phase 2 Review

This report for Curaçao has been published on 16 Mar 2015. 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.      
Phase 2 Rating Factors Recommendations
Partially Compliant.   New tax obligations were introduced in May 2013 requiring all entities to keep all ownership information, including information on all ultimate beneficial owners. Since the new laws only came into effect on 1 May 2013, they could not be sufficiently tested in practice.  Curaçao should monitor the implementation and operation of the new laws requiring all entities to have available information on all ownership information, including information on all ultimate beneficial owners. 
While there is some oversight, there is no rigorous system in practice of monitoring entities’ obligations in all cases and there is minimum enforcement and/or penalties applied generally to ensure the availability of ownership information.   Curaçao should ensure that authorities with oversight responsibilities develop mechanisms to monitor entities’ obligations and exercise the enforcement powers as appropriate to ensure the availability of ownership information at all times. 
In practice, it is possible for entities to exist but not conduct any activities in Curaçao and therefore not require a local director or local representative to apply for an operating license. It is thus unclear whether there is any oversight of such entities to ensure that there is a local director or local representative charged with the obligations to maintain the availability of ownership and identity information in all cases.   Curaçao should ensure that there is oversight of all Curaçaoan entities and that there are in practice, at all times, local directors or local representatives who will be charged with the obligation to maintain the availability of ownership and identity information. 
The mechanisms in Curaçao and their implementation in practice do not ensure that information on holders of bearer shares is available in respect of all companies.   It is recommended that Curaçao puts in place the necessary mechanisms and takes measures to ensure that information on holders of bearer shares 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.      
Phase 2 Rating Factors Recommendations
Partially Compliant.   While there is some oversight, there is no rigorous system in law of monitoring entities’ obligations to keep accounting information in all cases and there is minimum enforcement and/or penalties applied generally to ensure the availability of accounting information in all aspects. Curaçao was not able to provide the information in relation to one EOI request dealing with such a situation.  Curaçao should ensure that authorities with oversight responsibilities develop mechanisms to monitor entities’ obligations and exercise the enforcement powers as appropriate to ensure the availability of accounting information at all times. 
In practice, it is possible for entities to exist but not conduct any activities in Curaçao and therefore not require a local director or local representative to apply for an operating license. It is thus unclear whether there is any oversight of such entities to ensure that there is a local director or local representative charged with the obligations to maintain the availability of accounting information in all cases.  Curaçao should ensure that there is oversight of all Curaçaoan entities and that there are in practice, at all times, local directors or local representatives who will be charged with the obligation to maintain the availability of accounting information.  
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
Partially Compliant.   It is unclear if information can be accessed for a significant number of entities covered under grandfathering provisions because of unclear and inconsistent interpretation of the laws which has posed practical difficulties for Curaçao to respond to four requests still pending at the end of the review period.  Curaçao should ensure that there are clear access powers for it to access information concerning all relevant entities at all times. 
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.   The new procedures for notification that came into effect on 1 May 2013 was towards the end of the review period. While the old laws may have had possible impediments, these did not impact the effective exchange of information and the new procedures under the new laws should further enhance the effectiveness of Curaçao’s ability to exchange information in a timely manner.  Curaçao should monitor the implementation of the new rules and ensure that information can be provided in response to a request in a timely manner. 
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
Partially Compliant.   Curaçao applies a more restricted interpretation of the foreseeably relevant standard as it assesses the relevance of the obtained information for the domestic tax laws of the requesting jurisdiction. This has restricted the exchange of information in three requests during the review period.  Curaçao should correct its interpretation of the foreseeably relevant standard to ensure that it does not impede the effective exchange of information.  
The jurisdictions' network of information exchange mechanisms should cover all relevant partners. (ToR C.2)
Determination Factors Recommendations
The element is in place.     Curaçao should continue to develop its EOI network to the standard with all relevant partners. 
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.   Curaçao was not able to respond in a timely manner to its requests with almost half of the requests responded to after a year or still pending at the end of the review period. There were deficiencies in areas related to resources dedicated to EOI and monitoring of internal deadlines.  Curaçao should endeavour to improve its resources and processes to monitor its timeframe for answering requests and ensure that it is always able to reply in a timely manner. 
During the three years under review, Curaçao rarely provided an update or status report to its EOI partners within 90 days when the competent authority was unable to provide a substantive response within that time. In some cases updates were also not provided unless prompted by the EOI partner.  Curaçao should ensure it provides an update or status report to its EOI partners within 90 days when the competent authority is unable to provide a substantive response within that time.