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SAARC Members Agree To Multilateral Tax Initiative

by Lorys Charalambous, Tax-News.com, Cyprus

14 December 2004


The seven members of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) last week agreed a new treaty facilitating the sharing of tax information within the group in instances of suspected tax evasion.

The new agreement, reached at a meeting in Islamabad on December 6 and 7, is expected to be signed by foreign ministers at a summit scheduled to begin on January 9, 2005.

Besides the sharing of tax information between member states, the agreement includes double taxation avoidance provisions which give tax exemption to certain groups, including students, teachers, researchers, consultants, technicians and scholars, for a period of two years on a portion of their income.

The SAARC member states (Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka), will also set up a monitoring body known as the Group on Cooperation in Tax Matters, which is expected to meet for the first time in early 2005.

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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