n Stellenbosch Law Review = Stellenbosch Regstydskrif - The international exchange of tax information : realising the promise, managing the threat

Volume 21, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1016-4359
  • E-ISSN: 1996-2193



The discussion contained in this article considers the extent to which tax authorities may be held liable for the disclosure of a taxpayer's confidential information to foreign tax authorities, individuals or organisations that are not authorised to view it. The article considers this unauthorised disclosure within the context of the international exchange of tax information that currently takes place on a daily basis. It is recommended that, in order to limit their potential liability, tax authorities will have to conduct a two-fold investigation into: firstly, their own information security practices relating to the security measures they have in place when transferring tax information across borders. Secondly, they will have to evaluate the information security practices of requesting states. The author argues that a specific tax authority's obligation to protect the privacy and confidentiality of its taxpayers do not end as soon as the exchange process is completed, but rather continues until the moment that the relevant taxpayer's information is finally destroyed.

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