FNS will have access to information about the offshore Russians in Panama

The authorities of Panama, Bahrain, Vanuatu, Nauru and Lebanon joined the agreement requiring the participating countries to share with other participants in the financial information, announced on Wednesday by the Organization for economic cooperation and development (OECD).

In the report of the OECD notes that now the agreement, the implementation of which is designed to ensure transparency of financial schemes and to facilitate the fight against tax evasion and withdrawals to offshore, supports the 101st state. Really the system of automatic exchange should start operating in September 2018.

“We see continuous movement toward [the beginning of] the exchange of information based on a common standard developed by the OECD and endorsed by the international community,” said OECD Secretary-General Jose angel Gurria.

He also noted that political statements about readiness to join the fight against tax evasion have yet to be translated into real action on the implementation of the developed standards and actual financial data exchange. “Actions must now speak louder than words,” said Gurria. He urged countries outside the multilateral Convention on mutual administrative assistance in tax matters, to take this step.

The Russian government earlier also adopted a decision on accession to the agreement, which allows participating countries to exchange information on the financial transactions of citizens and companies in the automatic mode. In November 2014, Russia ratified the Convention on mutual administrative assistance in tax matters, signed in 2011. The Convention, which entered into force for Russia on 1 July 2015, provides without any additional agreements, the exchange of information on request and optional exchange (at the initiative of the state holding the information), but for the automatic exchange of the necessary bilateral or multilateral agreements. Therefore, in October 2014 the country under the auspices of the OECD signed a multilateral Agreement of the competent authorities on the automatic exchange of financial information. 30 April 2016 the government of Russia signed a decree which instructed FNS to sign this multilateral agreement. The signing of the agreement with Russia is scheduled for may 12, said in late April, Finance Minister Anton Siluanov.

A uniform standard of exchange of information (Common Reporting Standard, CRS) was endorsed by the Finance Ministers of the G20 countries in February 2014 and by the OECD Council in July of the same year. This document provides for an annual exchange joined the agreement countries information on financial activity of individuals and companies (including funds and trusts), in particular, data on the payment of dividends and interest on deposits and as balances held and transactions.

Preparation of the agreement has begun prior to the publication of investigations about the global network of offshore companies, the Agency said Reuters. In early April 2016, the international consortium of investigative journalists (ICIJ) and the Center for the study of corruption and organized crime (OCCRP) published an investigation based on the resulting leak of documents by the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca, which provides services for registration of offshore companies. In the published documents mentioned a number of current and former leaders of States, as well as prominent businessmen, athletes, actors and other famous people.

Later, ICIJ published the database “Panamanian archive”, which contains information about 214 thousand offshore companies. From them 11 thousand associated with more than 6 thousand of individuals and legal entities of Russia.

International non-governmental organization Transparency International called on the international community to take immediate measures that will prevent corrupt officials to hide illegally acquired money in managed through front companies owners. “How many more have massive leaks of documents that world leaders realized that the absence of public registers of beneficial owners of companies — is exactly what allows the global large-scale schemes of corruption to live and prosper?” — said the Chairman of Transparency International josé Faded.