Countries amending laws for exchange of tax info

New Delhi: In a major push to its efforts to unearth illegal funds stashed in tax havens, India has got indications from various countries promising strengthening of legal framework for exchange of tax and banking information.

Austria, the British Virgin Islands, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Belgium and the Cayman Islands are some of the major countries that have amended their tax laws to suit the tax information exchange requests from nations like India.

The information pertains to data (reports) India receives by virtue of it being a member of the `Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes` under the aegis of the Paris-based Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

"The reports describe each jurisdictions rule for ensuring that information is available to the tax authorities, how it can be accessed by authorities and the mechanisms in place to exchange information with foreign tax authorities," a Finance Ministry official privy to the development said quoting a OECD statement in this regard.

Citing one such report, the official said that Cayman Island has strengthened and reviewed its laws with respect to "nominees and the availability of ownership information".

Similarly, Belgium in April this year enacted a new law "granting access to bank information to all its treaty partners upon condition of reciprocity. The supplementary report of Belgium notes that thanks to this new law, exchange of information to the standard can now take place with more than 80 of Belgium`s partners", which includes India.

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