15/11/2005 - Australia and Bermuda signed a on the exchange of information for tax purposes, coinciding with the start of a two-day OECD Global Forum on Taxation in Melbourne focusing on issues relating to transparency and information exchange.
The agreement was the second such arrangement entered into by Bermuda, which signed a similar accord signed in 1988 with the United States, and follows a similar agreement last month between the Isle of Man and the Netherlands. In announcing the agreement, Bermuda specifically expressed its thanks to Australia for the manner in which Australia had conducted the negotiations.
Bill McCloskey, Chairman of the OECD’s Committee on Fiscal Affairs and Co-Chair of the Global Forum, welcomed the agreement as reflecting a growing trend toward greater transparency and international co-operation in tax matters. “I congratulate both parties for strengthening their bilateral relationship and for joining together to counter abuse of the financial system,” Mr. McCloskey said in a statement. “I hope others will follow this example.”
Bermuda became an important partner in the OECD’s initiative to improve transparency and exchange of information in tax matters in 2000, when it committed to work with OECD countries on developing these principles with a view to implement measures to support them. Since that time, Bermuda has played an active role in the OECD Global Forum on Taxation, most notably by participating in the working group that developed the Model Agreement on Exchange of Information on tax Matters, which is now being used as the basis for bilateral negotiations.
The OECD’s work in this area is designed to enable countries to fully and fairly enforce their tax laws (see progress reports issued in , , and ). As of today, have committed to work with OECD countries under the auspices of the OECD’s Global Forum on Taxation to improve transparency and to establish effective information exchange for tax purposes. Current efforts are aimed at working towards in the areas of transparency and effective exchange of information. The Melbourne meeting will assess progress in these areas and suggest next steps in the process.
For further information, journalists are invited to contact: in Bermuda Donald Scott (tel: + 1 441 295 5151), in Australia Trudie Wykes (tel: + 61 0402 620302) or the OECD’s Media Relations Division (tel: + tel. 33 1 4524 8090).
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by the Honorable Peter Costello, Treasurer.
on the opening of the conference.