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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: Mauritania Phase 2 Report

This report for Mauritania has been published on 14 Mar 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.   Mauritanian law permits the creation of bearer shares in companies limited by shares. However, Mauritanian laws may not sufficiently ensure the availability of ownership information in the event of transfer of bearer shares where the transferor is outside of Mauritania and the transferee doesn’t exercise his shareholder’s rights.  The Mauritanian authorities should ensure the identification of the owners of bearer shares in companies limited by shares in all circumstances. 
Phase 2 Rating Factors Recommendations
Largely Compliant.  During the review period, the registration formality was the only mechanism that could always ensure the identification of bearer shares owners in case of transfer. However, this mechanism was not effectively implemented. An additional tax requirement recently introduced imposes on companies issuing or having issued bearer shares and on the transferors of such shares to disclose the identity of their owners to the tax authorities. However, its implementation has not been tested in practice.  The Mauritanian authorities should ensure the effective enforcement of the registration formality for the transfer of shares regardless of their form. The Mauritanian authorities should also monitor the effective implementation of the new requirement to disclose the identity of bearer shares owners to the tax authorities. 
Mauritania has recently introduced a tax provision requiring companies limited by shares (SA, SAS, SCA) to maintain a share register at their registered offices, breach of which is subject to penalty. However, the implementation of this provision has not been tested in practice.  The Mauritanian authorities should monitor the implementation of the obligation to maintain a share register at the registered office by companies limited by shares (SA, SAS, SCA) as well as the applicable sanction. 
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
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
Compliant.     
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.   Mauritania has concluded eight tax conventions providing for information exchange. Six of these conventions are ratified but only four of them are in force, meaning that the jurisdiction can exchange information with only some of its partners. The delay in entry into force of the tax convention signed is partly due to the fact that Mauritania does not always complete the necessary domestic formalities in reasonable time.  The Mauritanian authorities should accelerate the entry into force of agreements already concluded so that they can effectively exchange information with their treaty partners. 
Phase 2 Rating Factors Recommendations
Largely Compliant.  Communications difficulties between the different Mauritanian authorities responsible for the ratification of conventions (Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Finance Ministry) have led to confusion in the ratification and entry into force of the tax conventions signed by Mauritania.  The Mauritanian authorities are recommended to take the necessary steps to effectively monitor the ratification process for signed conventions in order to ensure that the process is completed within a reasonable time. 
The jurisdictions' network of information exchange mechanisms should cover all relevant partners. (ToR C.2)
Determination Factors Recommendations
The element is in place.     Mauritania should continue to develop its exchange of information network 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.  During the review period, Mauritania did not effectively inform its exchange of information partners of the competent authority’s identity and precise contact details or the most appropriate way of ensuring that requests actually reach the Mauritanian competent authority. As a result, the four requests sent to Mauritania during this period cannot be traced.  Mauritania should ensure that all its exchange of information partners are able to identify the Mauritanian competent authority at any time. 
After the review period, Mauritania introduced a delegation of the Finance Minister’s powers in information exchange matters to the Director General of Taxes and set up a unit to process information requests. It was not possible to evaluate the operation and effectiveness of the new organisation in practice.  Mauritania should monitor the operation of the new organisation set up to process exchange of information requests, including the information exchange unit, in order to ensure that requests are processed swiftly and efficiently.