The Government of New Zealand and the Government of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas,
Desiring to facilitate the exchange of information with respect to taxes,
Have agreed as follows:
Object and scope of this agreement
The competent authorities of the Contracting Parties shall provide assistance through exchange of information that is foreseeably relevant to the administration and enforcement of the domestic laws of those Parties concerning taxes covered by this Agreement. Such information shall include information that is foreseeably relevant to the determination, assessment and collection of such taxes, the recovery and enforcement of tax claims, or the investigation or prosecution of tax matters. Information shall be exchanged in accordance with the provisions of this Agreement and shall be treated as confidential in the manner provided in Article 8. The rights and safeguards secured to persons by the laws or administrative practice of the Requested Party remain applicable. The Requested Party shall use its best endeavours to ensure that any such rights and safeguards are not applied in a manner that unduly prevents or delays effective exchange of information.
A Requested Party is not obligated to provide information which is neither held by its authorities nor in the possession or control of persons who are within its territorial jurisdiction.
2. This Agreement shall also apply to any identical or substantially similar taxes imposed after the date of signature of this Agreement in addition to, or in place of, the existing taxes. The Agreement shall also apply to such other taxes as may be agreed in an exchange of letters between the Contracting Parties. The competent authorities of the Contracting Parties shall notify each other of any substantial changes to the taxation and related information gathering measures covered by this Agreement.
2. As regards the application of this Agreement at any time by a Contracting Party, any term not defined herein shall, unless the context otherwise requires, have the meaning that it has at that time under the law of that Party, any meaning under the applicable tax laws of that Party prevailing over a meaning given to the term under other laws of that Party.
Exchange of information upon request
2. If the information in the possession of the competent authority of the Requested Party is not sufficient to enable it to comply with the request for information, that Party shall use all relevant information gathering measures to provide the Applicant Party with the information requested, notwithstanding that the Requested Party may not need such information for its own tax purposes.
3. If specifically requested by the competent authority of an Applicant Party, the competent authority of the Requested Party shall provide information under this Article, to the extent allowable under its domestic laws, in the form of depositions of witnesses and authenticated copies of original records.
6. The competent authority of the Requested Party shall acknowledge receipt of the request to the competent authority of the Applicant Party, shall advise if there are any unexpected delays in obtaining the requested information, and shall use its best endeavours to forward the requested information to the Applicant Party with the least possible delay.
Tax examinations abroad
1. A Contracting Party may allow, to the extent permitted under its domestic laws, representatives of the competent authority of the other Contracting Party to enter the territory of the first-mentioned Party to interview individuals and examine records with the written consent of the persons concerned. The competent authority of the second-mentioned Party shall notify the competent authority of the first-mentioned Party of the time and place of the meeting with the individuals concerned.
2. At the request of the competent authority of one of the Contracting Parties, the competent authority of the other Contracting Party may allow representatives of the competent authority of the first-mentioned Party to be present at the appropriate part of a tax examination in the second-mentioned Party.
3. If the request referred to in paragraph 2 is acceded to, the competent authority of the Contracting Party conducting the examination shall, as soon as possible, notify the competent authority of the other Party about the time and place of the examination, the authority or official designated to carry out the examination and the procedures and conditions required by the first-mentioned Party for the conduct of the examination. All decisions with respect to the conduct of the tax examination shall be made by the Party conducting the examination.
Possibility of declining a request
2. The provisions of this Agreement shall not impose on a Contracting Party the obligation to supply information subject to legal privilege, or to supply information which would disclose any trade, business, industrial, commercial or professional secret or trade process. Notwithstanding the foregoing, information of the type referred to in paragraph 4 of Article 5 shall not be treated as such a secret or trade process merely because it meets the criteria in that paragraph.
5. The Requested Party may decline a request for information if the information is requested by the Applicant Party to administer or enforce a provision of the tax law of the Applicant Party, or any requirement connected therewith, which discriminates against a national of the Requested Party as compared with a national of the Applicant Party in the same circumstances.
1. Any information received by a Contracting Party under this Agreement shall be treated as confidential and may be disclosed only to persons or authorities (including courts and administrative bodies) in the jurisdiction of the Contracting Party concerned with the assessment or collection of, the enforcement or prosecution in respect of, or the determination of appeals in relation to, the taxes covered by this Agreement. Such persons or authorities shall use such information only for such purposes. They may disclose the information in public court proceedings or in judicial decisions. The information may not be disclosed to any other person or entity or authority or any other jurisdiction (including a foreign Government) without the express written consent of the competent authority of the Requested Party.
2. Where information provided pursuant to this Agreement for a criminal tax purpose is, subsequently, to be used for a non-criminal tax purpose (and vice versa), the competent authority which supplied the information shall be notified of this change in use, if not before, then within a reasonable time of the change in use occurring.
Prejudicial or restrictive measures
“prejudicial or restrictive measure based on harmful tax practices” is a measure applied by one Contracting Party to residents, nationals or transactions of either Contracting Party on the basis that the other Contracting Party does not engage in effective exchange of information and/or because it lacks transparency in the operation of its laws, regulations or administrative practices, or on the basis of no or nominal taxes and one of the preceding criteria.
“prejudicial or restrictive measure” does not include generally applicable measures, applied by either Contracting Party, such as Controlled Foreign Company rules, Foreign Investment Fund rules, transfer pricing rules, thin capitalisation rules, or general information reporting rules that relate to the disclosure of information from other countries or jurisdictions, or transactions with such countries or jurisdictions, such as record keeping requirements imposed on foreign owned subsidiaries to ensure access to information concerning parent companies.
Unless the competent authorities of the Contracting Parties otherwise agree, ordinary costs incurred in providing assistance shall be borne by the Requested Party, and extraordinary costs incurred in providing assistance (including reasonable costs of engaging external advisors in connection with litigation or otherwise) shall be borne by the Applicant Party. At the request of either Contracting Party, the competent authorities shall consult as necessary with regard to this Article, and in particular the competent authority of the Requested Party shall consult with the competent authority of the Applicant Party in advance if the costs of providing information with respect to a specific request are expected to be significant.
The Contracting Parties shall enact any legislation necessary to comply with, and give effect to, the terms of this Agreement.
Other international agreements or arrangements
The possibilities of assistance provided by this Agreement do not limit, nor are they limited by, those contained in existing international agreements or other arrangements between the Contracting Parties which relate to co-operation in tax matters.
Mutual agreement procedure
Entry into force
The Government of New Zealand and the Government of The Bahamas shall notify each other in writing through the diplomatic channel of the completion of their constitutional and legal procedures for the entry into force of this Agreement. This Agreement shall enter into force on the date of the last notification, and shall thereupon have effect for taxable periods beginning on or after that date or, where there is no taxable period, for all charges to tax arising on or after that date.
1. This Agreement shall continue in effect indefinitely, but either of the Contracting Parties may, after the expiration of 3 years from the date of its entry into force, give to the other Contracting Party through the diplomatic channel written notice of termination.