In a bulletin dated February 16, 2011, the BVI International Finance Center (“IFC”) has reported that the Government of the Virgin Islands have recently signed a Tax Information Exchange Agreement (“TIEA”) with India. This is the BVI’s 20th TIEA which has been signed and “further underlines [the BVI’s] commitment to meet the international standards of tax transparency.”
The TIEA was signed on behalf of the BVI by the Honourable Dancia Penn OBE QC, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health and Social Development on Wednesday, 9 February 2011 at the High Commission of India in London.
At the signing ceremony, the Deputy Premier remarked that India is a key market for the BVI’s nancial services business. The BVI recognises that India is one of the world’s largest economies and is seen to be one of the future’s leading growth markets.
During 2010, the BVI has seen a doubling of Indian clients’ level of outward investment utilizing BVI companies in comparison to 2009, with the gure topping more than US$500 million. The signing of the TIEA with India now ensures that the BVI is well placed to capitalize on future development within India.
In their bulletin, the IFC indicates that “TIEAs are necessary to demonstrate that the BVI continue to meet international tax standards and it is important to note that information can only be exchanged on request. That request must meet very speci c criteria, with details of the exact nature of the information being requested and certi cation that the information
is not available in the country of the TIEA partner. So called ‘ shing expeditions’ are not allowed.”
The joint declaration states: “This agreement represents a milestone in relations between the two Governments and both are committed to examine the other areas of mutual cooperation and bene t, including double taxation agreement.”
At BDO, we view this signing of the TIEA between BVI and India as a positive step to promote BVI’s competitiveness on the international stage and we believe that this will lead to futher oppogrowth and joint business from India in the months and years ahead.
In addition to India, the BVI has TIEAs with the United States of America, Australia, United Kingdom, Germany, the Netherlands, France, China, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Norway, Greenland, New Zealand, Netherlands Antilles, Portugal, Faroes, Iceland, Aruba, and Ireland.