India, US to act on tackling offshore tax evasion

India, US to act on tackling offshore tax evasion

India and the US have agreed to strengthen their cooperation by sharing cross-border tax-information and tackling tax evasion.

Source: The Dollar Business Bureau

In the backdrop of an increasing tax evasion and terror financing incidents across the globe, India and the US on Thursday agreed to strengthen their cooperation in sharing cross-border tax-information and tackling tax evasion and avoidance.

“We are committed to continued collaboration and sharing of experience in tackling offshore tax evasion and avoidance, including joint tax audits and tax examination abroad,” a joint statement issued by Finance Minister Arun Jaitely and US Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew said.

On Thursday, Jaitley and Lew held a meeting on the sidelines of the sixth annual US-India Economic and Financial Partnership (EFP), which was also attended by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor Raghuram Rajan and Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen in presence of various other participants, in Washington, USA.

Noting the significant progress the two countries have made, in sharing financial information under the Inter-Governmental Agreement in line with the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), India and US said they would continue to further engage in bilateral discussions under the FATCA framework to move forward in these areas.

The United States also came out in full support of India’s several initiatives, particularly in the infrastructure sector which is envisioned to completely transform the country, and said it would continue to engage in discussions with its partner in areas such as municipal finance to further this initiative.

“Under the U.S-India Investment Initiative launched in January 2015, our governments have worked in collaboration with the private sector to identify specific policies, regulatory reforms, and technical collaboration aimed at mobilising capital from both domestic and foreign investors to build infrastructure and create jobs,” the statement said.

“We are working together to support India's National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF) in order to increase financing options for India's infrastructure growth,” it said. 

The two countries also sought each other’s cooperation in tackling money laundering to combat financing of terrorism through sharing of information. They agreed to work with each other in multilateral forums, such as G20, to steer their countries onto a stronger, sustainable and balanced economic growth.

India and the US noted their bilateral relationship could be one of the defining relationships of the 21st century; as they have been making progress on all vital fronts, including resolution of bilateral tax disputes, consideration of bilateral Advance Pricing Agreement (APP) applications and exchange of financial information.

The Dollar Business Bureau - Apr 15, 2016 12:00 IST