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Australia Signs TIEAs With Samoa And Aruba

by Mary Swire, Tax-News.com, Hong Kong

17 December 2009


The Australian government has signed bilateral tax information exchange agreements (TIEAs) and additional benefits agreements (ABAs) with the Caribbean island of Aruba and the Pacific island of Samoa.

Australia’s Assistant Treasurer, Nick Sherry, and the Dutch Ambassador, Cornelis Wilhelmus Andreæ, signed the TIEA that will allow tax information to be exchanged between Australia and Aruba, as well as the ABA which will further enhance Australia's efforts to eliminate double taxation, amongst other features.

"This signing represents a key extension of Australia's information exchange capacity in the Caribbean,” Sherry said. "Aruba is the fifth Caribbean jurisdiction to sign a TIEA with Australia, which will allow for the exchange of taxpayer information with Australian tax authorities."

Sherry also signed, together with the Samoan Minister of Revenue, Tuu'u Anasi'i Leota, a TIEA and an ABA between Australia and Samoa. Samoa is the eleventh jurisdiction and the second Pacific island country to sign a TIEA with Australia.

"Concluding TIEAs with our neighbors is an important component of the government's commitment to improving the integrity of the Australian and international tax system,” Sherry stated. "As part of this, it is also very important we see improvements in tax transparency in our own region, so signing another agreement with a key Pacific island jurisdiction is a big step forward."

The ABA with Samoa will establish an administrative mechanism to resolve transfer pricing disputes between taxpayers and the revenue authorities of Australia or Samoa, and eliminate double taxation of certain income derived by retirees, government employees and students.

The new arrangements will also assist Samoan revenue authorities through the provision of technical assistance and training to be delivered by the Australian Taxation Office, to help with the successful implementation of the agreements.

"Australia is playing a leading role in international efforts to have all jurisdictions committed to rigorous transparency and exchange of information standards,” Sherry added. “The government has launched negotiations around the world and this program has resulted in Australia now being able to exchange information with jurisdictions in Europe, Asia, the Pacific, Africa and the Americas."

All of the agreements will enter into force after the countries have completed their relevant domestic requirements. Legislation for this purpose, where necessary, will be introduced into the Australian parliament.

A comprehensive report in our Intelligence Report series, examining in depth the situation of offshore transparency and secrecy in a number of the most prominent jurisdictions, is available in the Lowtax Library at http://www.lowtaxlibrary.com/asp/subs_reports.asp and a description of the report can be seen at http://www.lowtaxlibrary.com/asp/description_report2.asp

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