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Indian Revenue Agency Opens Overseas Offices

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

30 April 2010


The Indian Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has opened tax offices in Singapore and Mauritius and plans to open in at least eight more countries in order to step up its measures against tax evasion.

Finance minister Pranab Mukherjee told Parliament in a written answer that the offices would be attached to Indian missions “in order to facilitate exchange of information". Decisions have already been made on 8 more offices in the US, the UK, the Netherlands, Japan, Cyprus, Germany, France and the United Arab Emirates, he added.

Parliament has also been advised that the investigation directorates will monitor Indians visiting so-called 'tax haven' nations when it is suspected that they might have bank accounts there. The Economic Times also reported that taxpayers will have to declare details of their foreign travels on their tax returns.

Although it was made clear that no "roving enquiries" could be made, search operations relating to the opening of foreign bank accounts or the acquisition of other assets outside India, may be conducted, and foreign bank employees could even be targeted for information.

India's fight against tax avoidance and evasion has been strengthened by the negotiation of tax information exchange accords with jurisdictions such as the Bahamas, Monaco, Panama, Seychelles, St Kitts & Nevis and the Maldives. Furthermore, amendments have been made to existing double taxation agreements to allow for more exchange of information. There are 77 countries in the latter category.

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
TAGS: tax | offshore confidentiality | Bahamas | India | Maldives | Mauritius | Netherlands | tax avoidance | Monaco | Singapore | United Kingdom | enforcement | offshore | agreements | Cyprus | France | Germany | United States | Japan | Panama | Seychelles

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