India and Liechtenstein sign tax information agreement

India and Liechtenstein sign tax information agreement New Delhi: Amid government efforts to track black money stashed abroad, India Wednesday signed a Tax Information Exchange Agreement with Liechtenstein.

"India and Liechtenstein have signed a Tax Information Exchange Agreement (TIEA) today at Bern, Switzerland," the Finance Ministry said in a statement.

India has been in negotiations with the European nation on TIEA since 2009.

"Information must be foreseeable relevant to the administration and enforcement of the domestic laws of the Contracting Parties concerning taxes covered by the agreement," the statement said.

"There is a specific provision for providing banking and ownership information," it added.

The pact has specific provisions for protecting the confidentiality of the information obtained under the Agreement.

Information is to be treated as secret and can be disclosed to only specified person or authorities, which are tax authorities or its oversight body, the statement said.

The agreement was signed by the Indian Ambassador in Switzerland Chitra Narayanan and Ambassador of Liechtenstein in Switzerland Madame Doris Frick

In March 2009, India was able to obtain information through the German government regarding Indian taxpayers having accounts with LGT Bank in Liechtenstein.

The statement further said: "The agreement shall enter into force one month from the later of the notification. On entering into force, information can be exchanged if it pertains to taxable periods beginning on or after 1st April, 2013."

The G-20 summit in London in April 2009 proved to be an important milestone when just before the summit, countries such as Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, and Monaco had announced their preparedness to accept OECD standards of transparency and exchange of information.

India has been expanding its tax agreements with different countries and jurisdictions as part of the drive to crack down on the menace of black money and tax evasion.

PTI