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New Zealand and Canada have ratified the multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters.
The Convention will enter into force for New Zealand from March 1, 2014. According to Revenue Minister Todd McClay, it "adds greatly to our ability to clamp down on avoidance and evasion." The Convention enables signatories to exchange tax information, and New Zealand's Inland Revenue will be able to seek assistance in collecting outstanding tax debts from "absconding" taxpayers who have moved overseas.
Canada will also apply the Convention from March next year. It will not, however, be obligated to collect taxes on behalf of another country, or to provide assistance in the service of related documents. It will instead continue to negotiate provisions on assistance in the collection of taxes on a bilateral basis, and has agreed to include these stipulations in certain of its tax treaties.
The Convention was developed jointly by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the Council of Europe. It is open to all countries, and aims at improving international tax cooperation.
The Isle of Man, Anguilla, Bermuda, the British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Gibraltar, Montserrat, and Turks and Caicos have all recently signalled their intention to join the Convention.
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