Bermuda and the Netherlands have signed an agreement for the exchange of information for tax purposes. Bermuda’s Minister of Finance Paula A. Cox announced today the bilateral agreement provides for full exchange of information on criminal and civil tax matters between the two countries.
The signing took place today at the Royal Netherlands Embassy in London, at a ceremony attended by the Netherlands Deputy Minister (State Secretary), The Hon. Jon Kees de Jager, who signed the agreement for the Netherlands, and Netherlands Ambassador Pim Waldeck. This was the culmination of two years of negotiations. Minister Cox said, *”I am delighted today to sign the tax information exchange agreement with the Kingdom of the Netherlands. It marks Bermuda’s twelfth signed TIEA and thereby satisfies the standard articulated by the G20 during its London Summit on April 2, 2009. Bermuda may now claim its position amongst those jurisdictions that have substantially implemented the internationally agreed tax standard.”*
She added, *”By Bermuda’s proactive and high-level commitment to support the OECD initiative to implement standards of information exchange and transparency, we have worked assiduously to strengthen worldwide tax cooperation. It is significant that Bermuda had concluded 12 TIEA negotiations as of April 2, 2009, and as we noted at that time, we were confident that our TIEA partners would have completed the internal processes within due time to be able to sign the agreements.”*
**OECD Progress Report**
Welcoming the new agreement, Jeffrey Owens, Director of the OECD’s Centre for Tax Policy and Administration, said: “*This is a very significant development for Bermuda. As it has signed 12 agreements, Bermuda is now shown in our Progress Report alongside other countries that have substantially implemented the standard.”*
Mr. Owens noted that when the Progress Report was published on April 2nd, Bermuda had only three agreements but has been able to rapidly implement the standard by signing nine agreements in two months. He added, *“It is nevertheless essential that countries that reach this threshold continue to be open to negotiating agreements with other countries that approach them.”*
Minister Cox confirmed that Bermuda shall continue to build upon its long standing position of transparency and cooperation, saying that through the years this has differentiated Bermuda from other jurisdictions. *”I am pleased to confirm that our TIEA negotiations will continue on the basis of mutual benefit and note that the Government of Bermuda is closing in on its goal to have TIEAs in place with all G7 countries and other important international trading and commercial partners. Most importantly, Bermuda continues to not only meet but exceed standards set by the OECD Global Forum’s annual assessments, and we are confident that we have the legislative framework in place to well-position ourselves for the forthcoming model peer review process as our TIEA partners repeatedly publicly commend Bermuda on how well we effectively exchange information.”*
The Minister that that Bermuda has worked diligently for almost two decades to arrive at this juncture today. In addition to agreements with the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand and the Nordic Group, which together comprise the 12 required TIEAs to meet the OECD standard, Bermuda has concluded negotiations with Germany, Mexico and Canada. *“Signing dates are being arranged with Germany and Mexico for the very near future and it is anticipated that the signing with Canada will take place later in the year after Canada concludes its ratification process.”*