16 September 2009

Dutch Caribbean-Scandanavian Tax Agreements

The Nordic countries today signed information-exchange treaties on taxation with Aruba and the Netherlands Antilles. The new agreements are part of a campaign led by the Nordic Council of Ministers to encourage greater efforts to prevent international tax evasion. The information was released by Norden, the official co-operation organisation in the Nordic region.

The treaties provide the tax authorities with access to all information about citizens who try to avoid paying tax on income and capital investments and who have undeclared assets in their home countries. The information covered includes details of the real ownership of companies, i.e. throughout the entire ownership chain, details of the founders, trustees and beneficiaries of trusts and information held by banks and financial institutions.

The treaties were signed at ceremonies today at the Danish (Aruba) and Finnish (Netherlands Antilles) embassies in Paris. They are part of a major ongoing project by the Council of Ministers and similar deals have already been struck with the Isle of Man, Jersey and Guernsey, the Cayman Islands, Bermuda and the British Virgin Islands.

Denmark has recently signed agreements with Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Gibraltar, St Kitts and Nevis, St Vincent and the Grenadines, and the Turks and Caicos Islands. Other Nordic countries are scheduled to sign agreements with these states soon. The Faroe Islands also signed a treaty with San Marino today. Negotiations continue with many other states.

Such agreements with the Nordic countries are part of the ongoing efforts by Aruba and the Netherlands Antilles to implement the OECD’s standards for transparency and information exchange on tax issues. Aruba has completed 12 such agreements and the Netherlands Antilles 15. As a result, both states are now effectively considered to be compliant with OECD requirements.