India entered into a Tax Information Exchange Agreement (TIEA) with Liechtenstein on Thursday for facilitating exchange of information on banking and ownership data based on international standards of transparency.
The agreement, signed in Bern (Switzerland) by India’s Ambassador to Switzerland Chitra Narayanan and the Ambassador of Liechtenstein, Madame Doris Frick, is aimed at tracking black money, checking tax evasion and routing of illicit funds.
According to an official statement here, the TIEA with Liechtenstein stipulates that the information sought must be foreseeable relevant to the administration and enforcement of the domestic laws of the contracting parties concerning taxes covered by the agreement.
Apart from a specific provision for providing banking and ownership information, there is also a specific provision that the requested party shall use its information gathering measures to obtain the requested information even though that party may not need such information for its own tax purposes.
The agreement also provides for representatives of the competent authority of the requesting party to enter the territory of the requested party to interview individuals and examine records.
The agreement, the statement said, shall enter into force one month from the date of notification. On entering into force, information can be exchanged if it pertains to taxable periods beginning on or after April 1, 2013. “The Agreement provides for the exchange of documents or information created in or derived from a date preceding 1st April, 2013, that are foreseeably relevant to a request relating to tax years beginning on or after 1st April, 2013,” it said.
As is the case with other agreements with tax jurisdictions, the TIEA with Liechtenstein has specific provisions for protecting the confidentiality of the information obtained under the agreement.
“Information is to be treated as secret and can be disclosed to only specified person or authorities, which are tax authorities or its oversight body. However, the information may be used for other purposes with the express consent of the Competent Authority of the supplying State”.