The Union Cabinet on 21 September gave its approval for the signing and ratification of an agreement between India and Samoa for the exchange of information with respect to taxes.
The agreement will stimulate the flow of exchange of information between India and Samoa for tax purposes which will help curb tax evasion and tax avoidance.
There are no financial implications at present. Only in the event of extraordinary costs exceeding USD 500, the same will be borne by India. India has similar provisions in other such tax information exchange agreement.
Here are some salient features of the agreement:
1. It enables the competent authorities of India and Samoa to provide assistance through exchange of information that is foreseeably relevant to the administration and enforcement of the domestic laws of the two countries concerning taxes covered by this agreement.
2. The information received shall be treated as confidential and may be disclosed only to persons or authorities (including courts or administrative bodies) concerned with assessment, collection, enforcement, prosecution or determination of appeals in relation to taxes covered under the Agreement. Information may be disclosed to any other person or entity or authority or jurisdiction with the prior written consent of the information sending country.
3. The agreement also provides for a Mutual Agreement Procedure "for resolving any difference or for agreeing on procedures under the agreement."
4. The agreement shall enter into force on the date of notification of completion of the procedures required by the respective laws of the two countries for entry into force of the agreement.