With a focus on countering black money, India and Germany have decided to continue to exchange tax-related information spontaneously on the basis of the existing agreements.

This was agreed upon a meeting between Indian delegation led by the Revenue Secretary, Shaktikanta Das, and the State Secretary of Germany, Johannes Geismann, in Berlin recently. A Finance Ministry statement, issued here on Friday, said that it was also agreed to explore other possibilities of enhancing information.

“As signatories to the Multilateral Competent Authority Agreement regarding automatic exchange of information on financial accounts, Germany and India will begin negotiations as soon as possible towards a memorandum of understanding laying out the technical details of automatic information exchange on financial accounts,” the statement said.

It was decided to resume negotiations on partial revision of the Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) with a view to bring the provisions relating to exchange of information to international standards. Now, both sides will meet here next month and effort would be to agree on a final version to ensure that it is signed soon.

This meeting between the Indian and German authorities was in furtherance of Government’s policy of proactive engagement with other countries for exchange of information to counter the menace of tax evasion and stashing of black money abroad.

The outcome of the visit of this delegation represents an important landmark in enhancing cooperation and mutual assistance in tax matters between India and Germany.

It may be noted that an amending existing DTAA was last discussed in New Delhi in April 2011. However, since then there was no progress on that.

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