Wednesday, March 10, 2010
India’s Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, has announced his intention to expand the country’s Tax Information Exchange Agreement (TIEA) network, starting with Bahamas and Bermuda, with whom India has already agreed the text of an agreement.
Speaking in India’s lower house of parliament, Singh said that the government would begin pursuing TIEAs with twenty territories, which India considers high priority.
“Twenty countries have been prioritized for entering into agreements regarding exchange of information and systems in connection with taxes,” he said.
“Negotiations have been completed with the Bahamas and Bermuda and steps have been taken for the signing of agreements. We have also approached Switzerland for the renegotiation of our tax treaty so that we can have access to the information,” Singh added.
Singh said that in particular, India is interested in concluding tax information exchange agreements with the Bahamas, Bahrain, Congo, Liberia, Liechenstein, Marshall Islands, Monaco, Panama, Seychelles, St Kitts & Nevis, Maldives, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Gibraltar, Guernsey, Isle of Man, Jersey, the Netherlands and Macau.
The government has also called for the Financial Intelligence Unit to enter into cooperation agreements with other countries’ counterpart authorities to facilitate the exchange of information in cases of fiscal crime and in civil tax matters. According to Singh, the Indian authority has already signed agreements with Mauritius, Philippines, Brazil, Malaysia, Russia, Australia and Canada.