This article presents a study of the retroactive application of tax information exchange agreements (TIEAs) in Brazil, Colombia, South Africa and Uruguay, with a view to articulating policy recommendations for similar emerging economies.
Contracting states should adopt clear rules in their TIEAs as regards their temporal application. In the absence of such rules, contracting states should abstain from applying a TIEA retroactively. The authors further recommend that legislatures adopt clear rules in domestic law governing whether a TIEA should apply to pending proceedings at the time of signature of the TIEA.
Countries wishing to provide for retroactive effect in respect of information that is still open for review under statute of limitations rules may include provisions to reflect this both in domestic law and in the TIEA itself. It is recommended that countries carefully review and agree whether exchanges of information should be restricted for cases that already have been subject to a reassessment proceeding and, thus, are closed, even when the statute of limitations period has not lapsed.
Legislatures in emerging countries should also take a position in domestic law on the issue of whether taxpayer rights may be limited as the result of a retroactive TIEA application.Intertax