NZ, Bermuda to sign Tax Information Exchange Agreement
New Zealand and Bermuda will soon sign a bilateral agreement that provides for full exchange of information on criminal and civil tax matters between the two countries, Revenue Minister Peter Dunne announced today.
The signing of the Tax Information Exchange Agreement (TIEA) will take place at the New Zealand Embassy in Washington DC on 16 April.
"I welcome the signing of this important agreement with Bermuda, which was one of the first international finance centres to engage in partnership with OECD countries in the worldwide effort to achieve greater transparency and co-operation in tax matters.
"The TIEA will enable tax authorities to access information about any persons who are seeking to evade payment of tax and will also help disclose assets that have not been reported in their home country," Mr Dunne said.
Information to be exchanged includes information on beneficial ownership of companies in the whole ownership chain; settlors, trustees and beneficiaries of trusts, and information held by banks and financial institutions.
"New Zealand has an established network of exchange-of-information arrangements in the 35 double tax agreements it has with major trading and investment partners," he said.
That network is now being extended by the negotiation of TIEAs with international finance centres. New Zealand signed its first TIEA, with the Netherlands Antilles, in 2007. The TIEA with Bermuda will be New Zealand's second. Others are under negotiation.
"Recent weeks have seen major developments worldwide in tax co-operation as an increasing number of financial centres have announced that they will adopt OECD standards for exchange of information," Mr Dunne said.
"These developments are expected to further the negotiation of an extensive network of exchange of information arrangements, making it increasingly difficult for people to hide income and assets offshore.
"Bermuda agreed to work with New Zealand towards the conclusion of a TIEA long before the recent developments. I congratulate Bermuda on its progressive stance, and look forward to strengthening the spirit of goodwill that has developed between our two countries," Mr Dunne said.
Contact: Mark Stewart, Press Secretary, +64 21 243 6985