BDO Transfer Pricing News

Morocco - Postpones entry into force of automatic exchange of financial and tax information agreements

The automatic exchange of financial accounts information with OECD countries was recently the focal point of discussion by the Moroccan public authorities. It resuscitated once again concerned reactions among the community of Moroccans residing abroad (“MRA”) with property and assets in Morocco.

In response to the concerns of MRAs, the tax authorities intervened to reassure them, proving that the implementation of measures relating to BEPS tax treaties signed by the government in June 2019 did not concern the Automatic Exchange of Information. The tax authorities have also specified that Morocco was not bound "by any commitment to automatically exchange information for tax purposes during the year 2021."

In 2023, the situation has changed. The entry into force of the agreement signed with the OECD was presented to Parliament recently. The Moroccan House of Representatives decided unanimously to postpone the vote on the text of the law approving the multilateral agreement between competent authorities concerning the Automatic Exchange of Information relating to financial accounts.

This is in fact the postponement sine die of the vote on two projects of law approving, respectively, the multilateral agreement between authorities related to the exchange of country-by-country declarations and the multilateral agreement between competent authorities regarding automatic exchange of financial account information, initialed by the Kingdom of Morocco on June 25, 2019.

This decision reflects the Moroccan government’s concern to preserve the rights of the Moroccan community residing abroad when concluding international agreements. Similarly, although Morocco is committed to the international effort to fight tax evasion, the financing of terrorism, and money laundering, it cannot take any action likely to infringe the rights of the Moroccan community abroad, who had raised legitimate questions and some concerns inherent in the implementation of the aforementioned agreements.

Following this decision, the Minister for Foreign Affairs assured that the provisions of these agreements giving rise to the debate are the subject, if necessary, of an explanation to remove confusion and avoid any misinterpretation in the future. It also affirms that the government is ready to bring more precision to these agreements, and even to renegotiate them; the objective, according to the minister, being to ''ensure that all the guarantees are met and that the rights of the Moroccan community abroad will not suffer from any infringement'.'

Salaheddine Nadif
BDO in Morocco