Is the OECD framework legally binding?
No. Countries that adopt the standards must then sign a tax information sharing agreement (TIEA). These are bilateral agreements that enshrine the OECD principles into law. Britain has signed TIEA agreements with Jersey, Guernsey, British Virgin Islands, Isle of Man and Bermuda. It is in the process of signing an agreement with Liechtenstein. None of these agreements has yet been ratified, though. Didn’t EU states share information? A separate agreement called the European Savings Directive was signed in June 2003 (adopted in 2005) and applied to all European Union countries. This allowed the automatic sharing of relevant tax information between member states. So Spain could seek details of a tax evader in Britain and vice versa. However, some EU countries â€” Austria, Belgium and Luxembourg â€” said they would like time to adjust. They chose instead to allow account holders to either pay a “withholding tax” or declare their income to the authorities in their home countries. By paying