The G20

Terms of reference: Roadmap for developing country participation in the international standard on automatic exchange of information

  1. At the 2013 St Petersburg Summit, Group of Twenty (G20) leaders called on the Development Working Group (DWG), in conjunction with the finance track, to work with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Tax Information for Tax Purposes (the Global Forum) and other international organisations to:
    • develop a roadmap showing how developing countries can overcome obstacles to participation in the emerging new standard in automatic exchange of information, and to assist them in meeting the standard in accordance with the action envisaged in the St Petersburg Development Outlook.
  2. Leaders also agreed the DWG should report back by the Brisbane Summit in 2014.
  3. The DWG has invited the Global Forum Secretariat, as the organisation responsible for the implementation of international standards on exchange of tax information, to lead the development of the roadmap.


  1. The roadmap will consider the steps that developing countries can take to implement the emerging standard on automatic exchange of information (AEOI) and also explore the potential obstacles to implementation and how these may be overcome.
  2. It is expected the roadmap will cover the following issues relevant to developing countries, particularly low income countries (LICs):
    1. benefits of participation in AEOI, including potential revenue gains
    2. the potential cost implications of meeting the emerging standard on, and participating in, AEOI
    3. the legal basis required (international agreements as well as domestic legislative reforms) to implement and participate in AEOI
    4. recognition of differing levels of tax administration capacity, which will affect the feasibility of effectively implementing AEOI
    5. identification of the minimum level of capacity or readiness that is required for a LIC to transition to AEOI, acknowledging AEOI will need to be balanced with other tax administration capacity priorities
    6. capacity building approach, including on IT, legal reform and human resources, with a view to identifying a stepped out approach that recognises possible resource constraints and is consistent with existing tax systems
    7. the level and nature of efforts needed to improve data handling and protection.


  1. The Global Forum Secretariat will lead the development of the roadmap, working closely with other relevant international and regional organisations, including to draw upon their technical advice.
  2. In particular, the Global Forum Secretariat will work closely with the World Bank Group (WBG) in relation to AEOI and the development of the roadmap, to draw in the perspectives of the WBG’s broader membership of LICs. The WBG will share with the Global Forum Secretariat the findings of its country studies on the challenges facing Indonesia, Ghana and Liberia in participating in AEOI, to the extent that it has the agreement of the relevant countries. In recognition of the challenges likely to be faced by some developing countries, particularly LICs, in implementing the common reporting standard for AEOI, the Global Forum Secretariat and WBG will use further opportunities for consultation to ensure the views of LICs are considered in the development of the roadmap.
  3. The Global Forum Secretariat will also involve other international and regional organisations as appropriate, including the African Development Bank, African Tax Administration Forum (ATAF), Asian Development Bank, Economic Commission of Latin America and the Caribbean, Inter-American Center of Tax Administrations (CIAT), International Monetary Fund, and OECD (both the Centre for Tax Policy and Administration, and Tax and Development secretariats). Particular consideration should be given to gathering the views of countries that are not members of ATAF or CIAT, such as those in the Asia Pacific region. The Global Forum Secretariat will also draw on the views of business and civil society.
  4. This work should draw upon the efforts of the Global Forum AEOI implementation group established at the November 2013 plenary meeting in Jakarta (which includes a number of G20 members and developing countries, but which has a remit broader than those relating to the roadmap).

Outputs and timelines

  1. The Global Forum Secretariat will provide the G20 Australian presidency with a draft roadmap at the beginning of April 2014 for discussion by the DWG at its May 2014 meeting.
  2. The Global Forum Secretariat will provide the G20 Australian presidency with the final roadmap at the beginning of August 2014, for discussion and agreement by the DWG at its September 2014 meeting.

Key reporting dates

  • 21–22 November 2013–Global Forum meeting in Jakarta–approved in principle that the Global Forum Secretariat will undertake this work
  • 16–17 December 2013–DWG meeting in Sydney–members asked to approve the terms of reference
  • May 2014–DWG meeting in Hobart–members consider and provide comment on a draft roadmap
  • June 2014 (to be confirmed)–DWG presents draft roadmap to Finance Deputies
  • September 2014–DWG meeting in Perth–members asked to consider and agree to the finalised roadmap, and recommend it for Sherpas’ and leaders’ endorsement
  • 18–19 September 2014–Finance Deputies meeting in Cairns–DWG presents final roadmap to Finance Deputies
  • October 2014 (to be confirmed)–G20 Anti-Corruption Working Group meeting in Paris–final roadmap provided to members for their consideration
  • 13–15 November 2014–Sherpa meeting–Sherpas asked to recommend the final roadmap for leaders’ endorsement
  • 15–16 November 2014–Leaders Summit in Brisbane–G20 leaders asked to agree and release final roadmap