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UK Interested In Tax Agreement With Netherland Antilles

by Amanda Banks,, London

14 May 2007

The central government of the Netherland Antilles has received a request from the United Kingdom government to initiate negotiations that would lead to the introduction of a tax agreement between the two jurisdictions.

According to a report by Caribbean Net News, the agreement would take the form of a "mini" tax treaty, combining elements of a Tax Information and Exchange Agreement (TIEA) and a Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA).

The Netherland Antilles' State Secretary of Finance, Alex Rosaria, has said that the UK request reflects the success of the government's policy to promote the jurisdiction as a reputable and well-regulated financial centre.

“Once we start signing fiscal treaties with certain countries, automatically other countries would want to do the same," he said, according to the St Maarten Daily Herald. "Eventually the broader our network of treaties the more beneficial this would be for our economy and job market,” he added.

The Netherland Antilles recently concluded a TIEA with both Australia and New Zealand, which will provide for full exchange of information on criminal and civil tax matters between the governments, and in March 2007, a TIEA with the United States came into force following the exchange of diplomatic notes.

"These tax information agreements are important instruments to counter the abuse of the financial system such as tax fraud, money laundering and the financing of terrorism,” Rosaria stated following the introduction of the US TIEA.

From March 22, 2007, the TIEA with the US allowed taxpayers in the United States to claim a deduction on convention expenses paid in the five islands making up the Netherlands Antilles. These include Curacao, Saint Maarten, Bonaire, Saba and Saint Eustatius. Taxpayers in the Netherlands Antilles have reciprocal rights for conventions held in the United States.

The treaty will also allow the Netherlands Antilles to take advantage of the Caribbean Basin Trade Partnership Act, allowing goods to be imported into the US from the islands tariff-free.

Following a period of self-imposed isolation, the Netherland Antilles is now pursuing a policy of becoming a "committed neighbour" in the Caribbean region, and the government has reportedly expressed an interest in kickstarting negotiations with Jamaica towards the conclusion of a bilateral double taxation avoidance treaty. The jurisdiction has also been pursuing talks with the governments of Barbados and Trinidad & Tobago towards the creation of double tax treaties, and soon hopes to sign a DTA with neighbouring Venezuela. A TIEA with Spain is also on the agenda.

A comprehensive report in our Intelligence Report series examining offshore confidentiality is available in the Lowtax Library at and a description of the report can be seen at
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