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The agreements, or TIEAs, are a key element of the government’s efforts to consolidate Gibraltar’s reputation as a reputable financial services centre within the EU.

They also represent a vital step to ensure the Rock can attract quality business at a time when global regulators are clamping down on tax dodgers.

The agreements in effect allow authorities in other jurisdictions to request, subject to very strict criteria, tax information relating to companies or individuals based in Gibraltar.

The Bill for the International Cooperation (Tax Information) Act 2009 has yet to be debated and approved by Parliament.

The 32-page piece of legislation sets out in detail the procedures for the exchange of information with authorities from another jurisdiction.

It sets out powers of search and seizure in the event of non-cooperation and, among many other issues, includes the grounds on which parties can appeal.

The proposed law, if enacted, would enable tax officials from other jurisdictions to seek permission to participate in tax investigations carried out in Gibraltar.

It also makes it an offence to withhold or destroy information related to a TIEA request, punishable by a maximum of two years imprisonment or a hefty fine.

The government has so far signed TIEAs with 13 other countries.

A copy of the draft bill is available by clicking on the PDF logo at the top right hand corner of this article.

See the original article here http://www.chronicle.gi/headlines_details.php?id=17661

12-11-2009 | by Brian Reyes - Gibraltar Chronicle | Published: Gibraltar Chronicle 12 November 2009
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