India has entered into a tax information exchange agreement (TIEA) with the Bahamas. This is the fourth TIEA entered into by India in recent months.

The TIEA with the Bahamas was signed on Friday by the Indian High Commissioner to Jamaica (concurrently accredited to the Commonwealth of The Bahamas) and the Minister of State for Finance, the Bahamas.

Pact specifics

The agreement provides for sharing information, including exchange of banking and ownership information. Although the information shared will be covered under the secrecy clause, it can be shared with specified tax authorities or authorities concerned with determination of tax appeals. Information can also be shared for other purposes with the prior consent of the giving party. Earlier, India had signed similar TIEAs with Bermuda, Isle of Man and British Virgin Islands. The Centre has already completed negotiations of TIEA with 10 jurisdictions/countries — Bahamas, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Isle of Man, Cayman Islands, Jersey, Monaco, St Kitts and Nevis, Argentina and Marshall Islands. Cabinet approval has been obtained for eight of these 10 jurisdictions/countries and four TIEAs, including the latest with the Bahamas, have now been signed.

The concept of TIEA is a result of the work undertaken by the Paris-based Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development to address harmful tax practices. An objective of the TIEA is to promote international cooperation in tax matters through exchange of information. The nature of tax-related information that could be shared under a TIEA varies from agreement to agreement.