(Nov. 16, 2011) During the G20 summit that took place in Cannes on November 3 and 4, 2011, 13 of the G20 countries signed the Convention on Mutual Assistance in Tax Matters, as amended by the Protocol of 2010 (South Africa: State Signs Convention on Tax Matters, ALLAFRICA.COM (Nov. 4, 2011)). This Protocol, which entered into force on June 1, 2011, opens the Convention to all countries, not just members of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and of the Council of Europe. These two organizations had jointly drafted the Convention, which originally was opened for signature on January 25, 1988. The Convention is aimed at combating tax avoidance and evasion through cooperation among national tax authorities (Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters, OECD, Centre for Tax Policy and Administration website (last visited Nov. 14, 2011)).
Prior to the signing ceremony that took place in Cannes, the Convention had been signed by the following 21 countries: Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Georgia, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Korea, Mexico, Moldova, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Ukraine, the United Kingdom, and the United States (id).
In addition, during the summit, the OECD presented its 2011 report on fiscal transparency, prepared by the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes. (Tax: Global Forum Publishes Report to the G20 on Tax Transparency, OECD website (Nov. 4, 2011)). The report is entitled Tax Transparency 2011: Report on Progress.