India has entered into Double Taxation Avoidance agreements (DTAAs) with 84 countries. In addition, DTAAs have been signed with 3 countries, viz. Colombia, Uruguay & Ethiopia and will enter into force after completion of necessary formalities in these countries. Proposal to sign DTAAs with 12 more countries/jurisdictions is under process. These countries/jurisdictions are Albania, Bhutan, Chile, Croatia, Fiji, Hong Kong, Iran, Latvia, Senegal, Venezuela, Cuba and Macedonia.
The Government has also identified priority countries/jurisdictions for negotiation of Tax Information Exchange Agreements (TIEAs). At present, India has TIEAs with 9 jurisdictions viz. Bahamas, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Isle of Man, Jersey, Guernsey, Liberia and Macau which are in force. In addition, three more TIEAs have been signed with Argentina, Bahrain and Monaco which will enter into force after completion of necessary formalities in these countries/jurisdictions. The proposal to sign TIEAs with another 34 countries/jurisdictions is under process. These countries/jurisdictions are Andorra, Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, Barbados, Belize, Brunei Darussalam, Cook Islands, Curacao, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Faroe Islands, Greenland, Grenada, Honduras, Jamaica, Montserrat, Peru, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, Sint Maarten, Turks and Caicos, Vanuatu, Argentina, Bahrain, Gibraltar, Liechtenstein, Maldives, Marshall Islands, Panama, Saint Kitts & Nevis and Seychelles.
All these DTAAs and TIEAs contain an Article on Exchange of Information under which India tax authorities can seek information about a taxpayer.
Information is regularly exchanged with the treaty/agreement partners and is forwarded to the field authorities for taking appropriate action. The information exchanged is governed by the confidentiality clause of the respective DTAA/TIEA.
This was stated by the Minister of State for Finance, Shri S.S. Palanimanickam in written reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha today.