India signs tax treaty with Bahamas

New Delhi: India has entered into a pact with Bahamas for exchange of information to check tax evasion and money laundering.

This is the fourth Tax Information Exchange Agreement (TIEA) — as it is known in the parlance of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) — signed by India.

“India and Bahamas have signed a Tax Information Exchange Agreement (TIEA) yesterday,” an official statement said on Saturday.

India has already signed TIEAs with Bermuda in October 2010, and it inked one with British Virgin Islands earlier this week and with the Isle of Man last week.

Under the agreement with Bahamas, there is a specific provision for providing banking and ownership information and the requesting state has to provide some minimum details about the information requested.

“Information must be foreseeably relevant to the administration and enforcement of the domestic laws of the Contracting Parties concerning taxes and tax matters covered by the agreement,” the statement said.

However, information is to be treated as secret and can be disclosed to only specified person or authorities, which are tax authorities or the authorities concerned with the determination of tax appeal.

The agreement was signed by Mohinder S Grover, High Commissioner of India to Jamaica and Zhivargo Laing, MP, Minister of State for Finance for the Government of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas.