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Bermuda Signs TIEA With Portugal

by Phillip Morton, Investors Offshore.com

24 December 2009


Bermuda’s Minister of Finance, Paula Cox, has signed another Tax Information Exchange Agreement (TIEA), with Portugal, further providing evidence of the territory’s commitment to transparency and bilateral cooperation on the exchange of tax information with G20 member states.

Bermuda's TIEA with Portugal includes all standard means to ensure due process is followed in tax information requests to Bermuda, including, for example, provisions to protect the confidentiality of information provided, as well as adhering to public policy, provisions related to protecting legal privilege, and anti-fishing provisions to ensure that requests for information from Portugal are relevant to ongoing tax investigations being conducted by Portuguese authorities.

Commenting on the signing, Cox stated: “The conclusion of negotiations with Portugal is a milestone for our two countries. Bermuda and Portugal have longstanding cultural and business ties dating back to the 1840s when Portuguese settlers first started immigrating to Bermuda.”

“Today, Portuguese represent over 9% of our population. In fact, this year, our 400th anniversary of settlement, Bermuda renamed Spanish Rock to Portuguese Rock to reflect that the Spittal Pond landmark was engraved by Portuguese shipwreck survivors and not Spanish, as initially thought.”

“This is the second instance of Bermuda negotiating directly with Portugal, following the signing of the Bermuda Azorean Accord in 1991 which expanded the rights of Azoreans to work in Bermuda. Bermuda's proposed treaty with Portugal will further strengthen and deepen our relationship with Portugal and provide immense opportunities for further business links between Bermuda and Portugal.”

Bradley Kading, of the Association of Business Insurers and Reinsurers, praised the deal: "Bermuda global reinsurers have an estimated 23% of the broker placed reinsurance placed for Portugal's domestic insurers. There are longstanding cultural ties between Portugal and Bermuda and good business relationships have been developed. The TIEA will help encourage additional business relationships which will be good for both Portugal and Bermuda."

Bermuda now has 18 signed TIEAs, including with G7 members France, Germany, the UK and the US, and with Australia, Ireland, New Zealand, the Netherlands, the Nordic Group (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden, the Faroe Islands and Greenland), the Netherlands Antilles, Aruba, and Mexico. Negotiations have been concluded with, amongst others, Canada, Japan, Spain and Belgium, with these agreements anticipated to be signed in early 2010.

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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