This Convention was developed jointly by the Council of Europe and the OECD and opened for signature by the member states of both organisations on 25 January 1988.
In April 2009, the G20 called for action "to make it easier for developing countries to secure the benefits of the new co-operative tax environment, including a multilateral approach for the exchange of information.” In response the OECD and the Council of Europe developed a Protocol amending the multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters to bring it in line with the international standard on exchange of information for tax purposes and to open it up to all countries ("amended Convention"). Previously, it was only open to members of the OECD and of the Council of Europe. At the G20 Summit in Cannes, France in November 2011, all G20 countries participated in a ceremony to mark the signing of the Convention. In less than 2 years since the amendment to the Convention, more than 50 countries have either become signatories or have stated their intention to do so.
The amended Convention facilitates international co-operation for a better operation of national tax laws, while respecting the fundamental rights of taxpayers. The amended Convention provides for all possible forms of administrative co-operation between states in the assessment and collection of taxes, in particular with a view to combating tax avoidance and evasion. This co-operation ranges from exchange of information, including automatic exchanges, to the recovery of foreign tax claims.
Section 240A of the Tax Administration Act, 2011 (as amended) requires that all tax practitioners register with a recognized controlling body before 1 July 2013. It is a criminal offense to not register with both a recognized controlling body and SARS.