This article proposes the use of Central Register of Beneficial Owners (CRB) laid down in the Fourth Anti-Money Laundering Directive (4AMLD) as a model instrument towards identifying beneficial ownership in international tax law. Although the OECD affirmed in 2014 that the term ‘beneficial owner’ ‘must be distinguished from the different meaning … in the context of other instruments’, the inclusion of tax evasion as a crime covered by the 4AMLD renders the CRB valuable in solving tax treaty cases on beneficial ownership.
Purposively, the use of CRB greatly supports the EU tax transparency agenda, which requires the Member States actively engaged in Exchange of Information (EoI) cooperation. The effectiveness of EoI is ensured by, among others, the accurateness of information stored in each Member States. The CRB also calls for protection of taxpayers data, as access to it can only be granted to parties with legitimate interests, and must accord with the secondary laws on data protection. The coherence of these policies strongly supports for wider and optimized use of CRB in the future.EC Tax Review