The OECD has launched what it describes as the first-ever beneficial ownership toolkit.

It has been prepared by the secretariat of the OECD’s Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes in partnership with the Inter-American Development Bank.

The toolkit aims to help governments implement the forum’s standards on ensuring that law enforcement officials have access to reliable information on who the ultimate beneficial owners are behind a company or other legal entity to make it difficult for criminals to hide illicit activities behind opaque legal structures.

Policy, legislation, supervision

The toolkit was developed to support the Global Forum’s 154 members, particularly developing countries.

To assist policymakers assess different implementation options, the toolkit contains policy considerations that can be used to implement the legal and supervisory frameworks required to identify, collect and maintain the necessary beneficial ownership information.

International information exchange

The toolkit covers a variety of important issues regarding beneficial ownership, including the criteria used to identify beneficial owners and ownership in the financial and non-financial sectors.

It also contemplates technical aspects of beneficial ownership requirements, distinguishing between legal persons and legal arrangements (such as trusts), and measures being taken internationally to ensure the availability of information on beneficial ownership.

The toolkit also examines how beneficial ownership information is a crucial component of the automatic exchange of information regimes being adopted by jurisdictions around the world.