India and Gibraltar have signed a Tax Information Exchange Agreement (TIEA) that among other things calls for transparent sharing of information.

The agreement was signed yesterday by Jaimini Bhagwati, High Commissioner of India to the UK from the Indian side and Gilbert Licudi QC, Minister with the responsibility of Financial Services, Gibraltar on behalf of Gibraltar.

This is the 13th TIEA being signed by India.

So far India has signed TIEAs with the Bahamas, Bermuda, the British Virgin Islands, the Isle of Man, the Cayman Islands, Jersey, Macau, Liberia, Argentina, Guernsey, Bahrain and Monaco.

According to the agreement, based on the international standard of transparency and exchange of information, information must be foreseeably relevant to the administration and enforcement of the domestic laws of the Contracting Parties concerning taxes covered by the agreement.

It also provides for tax examination abroad and has specific provisions for providing banking and ownership information.

The salient features of the agreement also say that the requesting state has to provide some minimum details about the information requested in order to justify the foreseeably relevance criteria.

Information is to be treated as secret and can be disclosed only to specified person or authorities, which are tax authorities or the authorities concerned with the determination of tax appeal, it says.

It also provides for use of information for non-tax purposes with the written consent of the competent authority of the requested party.

There is a specific provision that the requested party shall provide upon request the information even though that party may not need such information for its own tax purposes.

The agreement also provides for exchange of past information in criminal matters.