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Belgium Backs Antigua And Bermuda TIEA

by Ulrika Lomas,, Brussels

05 June 2013

The Belgian Council of Ministers has approved for ratification a tax information exchange agreement (TIEA) with Antigua and Barbuda.

According to the Belgian Government, the accord provides for the exchange of fiscal information upon request, including banking information. This is a key aspect of international cooperation in the area of taxation and an efficient manner in which to protect the national tax base and to combat harmful tax practices, the Government emphasizes.

The treaty is largely based on the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development's (OECD) Model TIEA. The conclusion of the accord is to be seen within the context of Belgian Government efforts to conclude, with as many states and jurisdictions as possible, tax information exchange agreements covering banking information, complying with the OECD standard.

The agreement covers all types of taxes in Belgium, including customs duties, imposed by or on behalf of the Federal Government. It provides for the exchange (on request) of information likely to be pertinent for the application of domestic legislation relating to the taxes covered by the accord.

Furthermore, the treaty provides for the exchange of information held notably by banks and other financial establishments. The text defines the terms and conditions for a valid request, and sets out the conditions and specific directives for the carrying out of cross-border tax audits on the territory of the treaty partner state.

Finally, the TIEA contains strict confidentiality rules, and provides for a procedure to amicably resolve disputes or doubts surrounding the interpretation or application of the agreement.

The Belgian Council of Ministers has also approved for ratification a protocol modifying the existing agreement between the Kingdom of Belgium and the Czech Republic, designed to avoid double taxation and to prevent tax evasion in the area of taxes on income and on wealth.

The protocol provides for the exchange of information, including banking information, in accordance with the internationally accepted standard. The text of the protocol has been published on the Belgian Tax Administration's website.

The protocol is due to be submitted to the Federal parliament shortly. It will also be presented to the regional and community parliaments.

TAGS: compliance | tax | tax information exchange agreement (TIEA) | double tax agreement (DTA) | tax compliance | Belgium | tax avoidance | law | banking | Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) | audit | agreements | legislation | Antigua and Barbuda | Czech Republic | individual income tax

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