Whereas New Zealand and the Turks and Caicos Islands (
“the Contracting Parties”) recognise continuing co-operation and provision of assistance in criminal tax matters;
Whereas the Contracting Parties have long been active in international efforts in the fight against financial and other crimes, including the targeting of terrorist financing;
Whereas it is acknowledged that the Turks and Caicos Islands under the terms of its Entrustment from the United Kingdom has the right to negotiate, conclude, and perform a tax information exchange agreement with New Zealand;
Whereas the Turks and Caicos Islands in March of 2002 entered into a formal written commitment to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development's principles of transparency and exchange of information and subsequently have participated actively in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development's Global Forum on Taxation;
Whereas the Contracting Parties wish to enhance and facilitate the terms and conditions governing the exchange of information with respect to taxes;
Now, therefore, the Contracting Parties have agreed to conclude the following Agreement which contains obligations on the part of the Contracting Parties only:
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.
To enable the appropriate implementation of this Agreement, information shall be provided in accordance with this Agreement by the competent authority of the Requested Party:
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 therein 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
1. The competent authority of the Requested Party shall provide upon request information for the purposes referred to in Article 1. Such information shall be exchanged without regard to whether the conduct being investigated would constitute a crime under the laws of the Requested Party if such conduct occurred in the Requested Party. If the information received by the competent authority of the Requested Party is not sufficient to enable it to comply with the request for information, it shall advise the competent authority of the Requesting Party of that fact and request such additional information as may be required to enable the effective processing of the 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 Requesting 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 the Requesting 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.
5 Notwithstanding the preceding paragraph, this Agreement does not create an obligation on the Contracting Parties to obtain or provide information which is older than a legally required time period for retaining that information in the jurisdiction of the Requested Party and where that information is in fact no longer kept.
Tax examinations abroad
1. A Contracting Party may, to the extent allowable under its domestic laws, following reasonable notice of not less than fourteen days, allow 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 to the extent allowable under its domestic laws, 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 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.
3. The provisions of this Agreement shall not impose on a Contracting Party the obligation to obtain or provide information, which would reveal confidential communications between a client and an attorney, solicitor or other admitted legal representative where such communications are:
6. The Requested Party may decline a request for information if the information is requested by the Requesting Party to administer or enforce a provision of the tax law of the Requesting Party, or any requirement connected therewith, which discriminates against a national of the Requested Party as compared with a national of the Requesting Party in the same circumstances.
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 without the express written consent of the competent authority of the Requested Party.
Nothing in this Agreement shall affect the rights and safeguards secured to persons by the laws or administrative practice of the Requested Party. The rights and safeguards shall not be applied by the Requested Party in a manner that unduly prevents or delays effective exchange of information.
Incidence of costs incurred in providing assistance (including reasonable costs of third Contracting Parties and external advisors in connection with litigation or otherwise) shall be agreed by the Contracting Parties in accordance with a less-than-treaty status Memorandum of Understanding.
No prejudicial or restrictive measures
“prejudicial or restrictive measure based on harmful tax practices” is a measure applied by one Contracting Party to residents or nationals 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.
3. Without limiting the generality of paragraph 2 the term
“prejudicial or restrictive measure” includes the denial of a deduction, credit or exemption, the imposition of a tax, charge or levy, or special reporting requirements.
The Contracting Parties shall enact any legislation necessary to comply with, and give effect to, the terms of this Agreement.
Mutual agreement procedure
Entry into force
1. The Government of New Zealand and the Government of the Turks and Caicos Islands shall notify each other in writing through the appropriate channel 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 1 April following entry into force or, where there is no taxable period, for all charges to tax arising on or after 1 April following into force.