x

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: Saudi Arabia Phase 1 report

This report for Saudi Arabia has been published on 24 Apr 2014. 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.


loading...


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.   Although a general obligation exists for trustees and trust administrators of foreign trusts to identify their client under AML/CFT legislation, no clear guidance is provided on what information needs to be obtained.  Saudi Arabia should ensure that ownership information on foreign trusts with a trustee or trust administrator in Saudi Arabia 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.   Partnerships with a capital of SAR 100 000 (EUR 20 189) or less without foreign partners are not expressly required to keep underlying documentation or to keep documentation for at least 5 years.  Saudi Arabia should ensure that all partnerships are required to keep underlying documentation and to keep accounting records for a period of at least 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 in place, but certain aspects of the legal implementation of the element need improvement.   The domestic tax interest requirement provided for by Saudi Arabia’s domestic legislation, applying also to information held by banks, is currently overridden in respect of only 10 out of the 30 information exchange agreements signed by Saudi Arabia, i.e. where the agreement contains provisions corresponding to Articles 26(4) and 26(5) of the OECD Model Tax Convention.  Saudi Arabia should ensure that its competent authority has the power to obtain all relevant information with respect to all information exchange agreements (regardless of their form). 
The compulsory powers available to the Saudi Arabian authorities to ensure that information is obtained are not designed to address non-compliance with the access powers used to obtain information for EOI purposes.  Saudi Arabia should review its powers for compelling the provision of information for EOI purposes in order to ensure that non-compliance with a request to provide such information can be appropriately addressed. 
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, but certain aspects of the legal implementation of the element need improvement.   Saudi Arabia’s domestic law does not allow them to access bank information or to obtain information in the absence of a domestic tax interest unless the information exchange agreement contains provisions corresponding to Articles 26(4) and 26(5) of the OECD Model Tax Convention. Of the 30 DTCs signed, only 10 of them contain such a provision. Of these 10 agreements, 7 are in force.  Saudi Arabia should ensure that all of its information exchange agreements allow the Saudi Arabian authorities to effectively exchange information in accordance with the international standard. 
The jurisdictions' network of information exchange mechanisms should cover all relevant partners. (ToR C.2)
Determination Factors Recommendations
The element is in place, but certain aspects of the legal implementation of the element need improvement.   Not all of Saudi Arabia’s information exchange agreements allow them to exchange information according to the international standard.  Saudi Arabia should ensure that all its information exchange agreements with its partners allow them to exchange information according to the international standard. 
A number of jurisdictions wish to negotiate an information exchange agreement with Saudi Arabia.  Saudi Arabia should enter into agreements for exchange of information (regardless of their form) with all relevant partners, meaning those partners who are interested in entering into an information exchange arrangement with it. 
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.