OECD – Exchange of Information on Request. HANDBOOK FOR PEER REVIEWS 2016-2020. The Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes is the multilateral framework within which work in the area of tax transparency and exchange of information is carried out by over 130 jurisdictions which participate in the work of the Global Forum on an equal footing. The Global Forum is charged with in-depth monitoring and peer review of the implementation of the standards of transparency and exchange of information for tax purposes; being the standard of exchange of information on request (EOIR) and the standard of automatic exchange of information (AEOI). The EOIR standard is primarily reflected in the 2002 OECD Model Agreement on Exchange of Information on Tax Matters and its commentary, and in Article 26 of the OECD Model Tax Convention on Income and on Capital and its commentary, as updated in 2012. The Global has received a mandate from the G20 to monitor and review the implementation of the OECD Standard on AEOI and to assist developing countries in identifying their needs for technical assistance and capacity building in order to participate in and benefit from AEOI. All members of the Global Forum, as well as jurisdictions identified by the Global Forum as relevant to its work, are being reviewed under the EOIR standard. A first cycle of EOIR reviews took place from 2010 until 2016. The second round of EOIR reviews is scheduled from 2016 until 2020 against an enhanced EOIR standard, embedded in the 2016 EOIR Terms of Reference. The work on AEOI aims at establishment of the monitoring, support and review processes to best ensure the effective implementation of the AEOI standard for an AEOI review of jurisdictions starting from 2020. The ultimate goal of these reviews is to help jurisdictions to effectively implement the international standards of transparency and exchange of information for tax purposes. All review reports are published once adopted by the Global Forum and they thus represent agreed Global Forum reports. For more information on the work of the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes, and for copies of the published review reports, please refer to www.oecd.org/tax/transparency. About this handbook This handbook is intended to assist the assessment teams and the reviewed jurisdictions that are participating in the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes (the Global Forum) peer reviews and non-member reviews on EOIR under the second round of reviews (2016-20). It provides contextual background information on the Global Forum and the peer review process under the second round of EOIR reviews. It also contains the key documents and authoritative sources that are the basis of the Global Forum’s peer review process. Assessors should be familiar with the information and documents contained in this handbook as it will assist in conducting proper and fair assessments. This handbook is also a unique source of information for governments, academics and others interested in transparency and exchange of information for tax purposes. (…) Purpose of this handbook. This handbook consists of a toolkit for assessors and assessed jurisdictions for the conduct of the evaluation. It includes three core documents elaborated by the Global Forum for conducting the second round of reviews, namely: The 2016 Terms of Reference draws from the initial Terms of Reference for the first round of reviews, and breaks down the standards into their essential elements and enumerated aspects. The 2016 Terms of Reference are divided into three parts: Part A dealing with availability of information (ownership information (element A.1), accounting information (element A.2) and banking information (element A.3), Part B dealing with access to the information set out in Part A (element B.1) and the rights and safeguards of the taxpayers (element B.2); and finally Part C dealing with exchange of information (exchange of information mechanisms (element C.1), exchange of information mechanisms with relevant partners (element C.2), confidentiality (element C.3), rights and safeguards of taxpayers and third parties (element C.4) and requesting and providing information in an effective manner (element C.5). The 2016 Methodology for Peer Reviews and Non-Member Reviews provides detailed guidance on the procedural aspects of the peer reviews. The 2016 Methodology details the peer review process and deals with specific aspects of the review such as the onsite visit or the adoption of the report. It further sets out the procedures applicable to reports for non-members. As the peer review process is an on-going exercise, the 2016 Methodology also includes a revised follow-up procedure. The annexes to the 2016 Methodology include the responsibilities of the various actors of the peer review process (secretariat, assessors, assessed jurisdictions, PRG members and Global Forum members). The 2016 Assessment Criteria Note establishes a system for assessing the implementation of the EOIR standard. This note has been fundamentally revised for the second round of reviews to take into account the principles stemming from the first round of reviews and to address new assessment challenges, such as the evaluation of the quality of requests made or the jurisdiction’s failure to respond to recommendations made. It should be noted that the schedule of reviews, which is also a core document, is not reproduced in this handbook, as it is updated frequently with new members, accelerated reviews and supplementary reviews. An updated schedule of reviews can be found of the global Forum website: www.oecd.org/tax/transparency/about-the-global-forum/publications/schedule-of-reviews.pdf.