India for global forum for exchange of tax-related information

Written by: Pti
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New Delhi, Feb 16 (PTI) Concerned over reluctance of somecountries to share tax related information, India will seek amultilateral platform for automatic exchange of such detailsat the G-20 meeting of Finance Ministers.

"...overcoming tax evasion requires close co-ordinationbetween all countries on a multilateral basis. There is needto develop an effective multilateral platform for automatic,spontaneous and requested exchange of information," said anofficial release issued ahead of G-20 ministerial meet onFebruary 18.

India will be represented by Finance Minister PranabMukherjee, who will leave for Paris tomorrow.

India, it added, will soon come out with a "toolbox ofcounter measures" to deal with non-cooperative jurisdictions--nations which do not share tax related information.

G-20 leaders had earlier asked each country to develop aset of counter measures against such non-cooperativejurisdictions.

Pointing out that some countries are still to concludeTax Information Exchange Agreements (TIEA), it said, the G-20should consider classifying such nations as "non-cooperativejurisdictions."

India has already signed TIEA with four countries --Bahamas, British Virgin Islands, Isle of Man and Bermuda ---for exchange of information to check tax evasion and moneylaundering.

Although the G-20 leaders at Seoul summit last year urgedall the countries to conclude TIEA, it said, "some countriesare still not responding to the call of other countries toenter into TIEA and continue to insist on entering into DoubleTaxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) instead.

"The need to consider classifying such jurisdictions asnon-cooperative jurisdictions may also be discussed", itadded.

The government here has been facing flak from Oppositionfor not being able to bring back black money stashed in taxhavens and also naming persons involved in such transactions.

Regretting that some countries distinguish between ''taxfraud'' and ''tax evasion'', the release said, it helps indeliberate concealment of wealth for the purpose of taxevasion.

"...therefore there is need to encourage countries toremove this distinction in order to help efforts of governmentauthorities in pursuing tax cheats who have parked fundsoutside the country", it added.

Besides, India will also seek greater representation onstandard setting bodies such as the IASB (InternationalAccounting Standards Board) which is presently dominated byonly some accounting organisations.

India has already set up a Group of Ministers under thechairmanship of Mukherjee to suggest measures to deal with themenace of corruption and black money generation.

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