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India, Bermuda sign pact on exchanging info on tax avoidance

New Delhi, Oct 7 (Calcutta Tube) India and Bermuda Thursday signed an agreement on exchanging information on matters related to depositing of money by citizens of one country in other’s banks and avoidance of taxes.

Rechristened Tax Information Exchange Agreement (TIEA), the agreement was signed by Minister of State for Revenue S.S. Palanimanickam and Bermuda Premier Ewart Brown, the finance ministry said in a statement.

‘This is the first TIEA being signed by India,’ the ministry added.

‘Based on international standard of transparency and exchange of information’ the agreement stipulates that ‘information sought by a country must be relevant to the administration and enforcement of the domestic laws,’ said the ministry.

The country seeking the information, however, need to provide some minimum details about it to justify its revelation, the ministry added.

It said that the information is to be treated secret and could be disclosed only to specified person or authorities, which are tax authorities or its oversight body.

But with the written consent from the competent authorities of the state providing the information, the same can also be disclosed to any other person or entity or authority or any other jurisdiction, the ministry said.

The agreement also provides that the country, from which the information is being sought, can utilise its information gathering machinery to obtain the relevant information despite that particular country not needing that information for its own purposes, the ministry added.

The agreement also provides for exchange of banking and ownership information, besides past information on criminal tax matters, the ministry added.

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