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Netherlands Talks Of Major Expansion To Its TIEA Network

by Ulrika Lomas, Tax-News.com, Brussels

26 July 2007


The Dutch government is reportedly preparing to sign a "considerable number" of Tax and Information Exchange Agreements (TIEAs) with offshore and onshore jurisdictions as it commences a drive to reduce tax evasion.

The Dutch newspaper Financiele Dagblad has reported Robert ten Have, head of the bilateral tax treaties department of the Dutch Finance Ministry as announcing that the strategy is designed to allow the Dutch authorities to "see what's going on in these territorial jurisdictions".

The Dutch Finance Ministry has already announced the thirty countries that it wishes to conclude tax information exchange agreements with during 2007, and these include: Algeria, Australia, Azerbeidzjan, Brazil, Canada, China, Costa Rica, Cuba, Cyprus, France, Germany, Ghana, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Iran, the Isle of Man, Japan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Libya, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, Saudi-Arabia, South Korea, Switzerland, Turkey, Turkmenistan, the United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom.

The Netherlands has already been active in the area of bilateral tax agreements with offshore territories, having concluded TIEAs with the UK offshore dependencies of Jersey and the Isle of Man. Talks are also underway with Jersey's neighbour, Guernsey.

The agreement between the Netherlands and the Isle of Man was said to be the first of its kind between a small international business centre and an OECD member. This agreement, part of a wider economic treaty, was ratified by the Isle of Man's parliament, the Tynwald, at its May 2006 sitting, and on 21 July 2006, the Isle of Man Government received confirmation that the Netherlands had also ratified the agreements.

In addition to the TIEA, the Netherlands/Isle of Man agreements included: a shipping and aircraft taxation agreement; a ‘transfer pricing’ agreement; an agreement that Manx subsidiaries of Dutch companies will not experience any tax issues now that the Isle of Man has introduced its ‘0/10’ company tax system; and a commitment to work towards a full double taxation agreement between the Isle of Man and the Netherlands.

Jersey's agreement with the Netherlands, signed in June 2006, allows the exchange of bank and other information on request relating to both criminal and civil tax matters. For criminal tax matters, information exchange can apply whether the investigation relates to conduct before or after the coming into force of the agreement. For civil tax matters, such an exchange can apply only in respect of taxable periods beginning on or after the date of entry into force.

A comprehensive report in our Intelligence Report series examining offshore confidentiality 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_report1.asp

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