Government of India
Ministry of Finance
Department of Revenue
Central Board of Direct Taxes
Foreign Tax & Tax Research Division
R. No. 703, 7th Floor, ‘C’ Wing,
Hudco Vishala Building,
Bhikaji Cama Place, New Delhi
Dated the 18th September, 2019
All Pr. CCsIT/ DGsIT(Inv.)/ CCsIT/ DGsIT
Subject: Instructions on sharing of information received under EOI process of tax treaties to be used for non-tax purposes — regarding.
Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has from time to time issued instructions emphasizing on the confidentiality of information obtained from foreign jurisdictions under the Exchange of Information (EOI) process of Double Taxation Avoidance Agreements (DTAAs)/ Tax Information Exchange Agreements (TIEAs)/ Multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters (MAC) [hereinafter referred to as ‘tax treaties’].
2. In this context, it is stated that it is India’s sovereign obligation to keep the information obtained through the EOI process of tax treaties with the other jurisdictions confidential. Any disclosure of the information received under tax treaties with unauthorized persons, either intentionally or by accident, is a serious matter. The field authorities are, therefore, required to take all steps to ensure that the information received under tax treaties is not disclosed inappropriately. This is necessary for continued co-operation in the EOI process from our treaty partners.
3. The confidentiality provisions of tax treaties also prohibit the use of exchanged information for non-tax purposes without the express consent of the Competent Authority of the sending jurisdiction. Thus, the information received under tax treaties cannot be used for enforcement of any law other than the laws concerning taxes covered by the relevant tax treaty. The information received can only be shared with any other Law Enforcement Agency (LEA), such as Enforcement Directorate, CBI, etc., after obtaining consent from the Competent Authority of the sending jurisdiction. The field authorities are required to make request for obtaining such consent to the FT&TR Division in the enclosed proforma on a case-to-case basis. The information can be shared with the concerned LEA only after the FT&TR division obtains and conveys the consent of the Competent Authority of the sending jurisdiction for sharing of the treaty exchanged information.
4. These instructions may be brought to the notice of all officers in your region for strict compliance.
5. This issues with the approval of Chairman, CBDT.
Email: [email protected]
Tel. 011-26109827/Fax 011-2618-3051
Encl.: as above
Copy for kind information to:
1. Chairman, CBDT
2. All Members, CBDT
3. All Joint Secretaries and Commissioners of Income Tax in CBDT
4. Database Cell for uploading on irsofficersonline website.
Proforma for request to Competent Authorities of Foreign Jurisdictions seeking consent for use of Information received under tax treaties for non-tax purposes
(Separate proforma to be filled for sharing with each Law Enforcement Agency)
|1.||FT&TR Reference Number of the information to be shared|
|2.||Country/Jurisdiction to which request is to be made|
|3.||Indian Individual/Entity under investigation/examination||Name|
|4.||Law Enforcement Agency (LEA) with whom the information is proposed to be shared|
|5.||Details of Indian Statute(s) for which the information shall be used by the LEA||Details of the statute||Brief description|
|6.||Relevant background and grounds for believing that the information would be useful by the LEA|
|7.||Details of information to be shared with the LEA||(i) Reference number and date of letter of foreign authority vide which the information received|
|(ii) Number of pages of
information received in paper
|(iii) Number of files in the CD/USB drive if information
received in electronic format
|8.||Any other comments|
Signature of Requesting Authority
(not below the rank of Pr. CIT/Pr. DIT)