India joins multilateral forum to curb tax evasion

January 27th, 2012 - 7:19 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Jan 27 (IANS) In a bid to curb tax avoidance and evasion, India has joined a multilateral forum of which there are over 30 members, including the US, Britain, Japan and South Africa, an official statement said Friday.

“By signing the convention, India and the other 31 signatories encourage more countries to join, sending a strong signal that countries are acting together to ensure that individuals and multinational enterprises pay the right amount of tax, at the right time and in the right place,” the finance ministry said in a statement.

Sanjay Kumar Mishra, joint secretary in the finance ministry, signed the convention in Paris Thursday in presence of OECD (Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development) Deputy Secretary General Rintaro Tamaki.

With this, India has become the 32nd member of the multilateral forum called Multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters.

The signatories to the convention are Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Moldova, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, Ukraine, the UK and the US.

Many more countries are expected to sign the convention in future, the finance ministry said.

“This provides for a wider network of countries cooperating in exchange of information, assistance in tax collection etc.”

Of the signatories, 12 have ratified the convention so far.

The convention not only facilitates the exchange of information, but also provides for assistance in the recovery of taxes.

“This will give a fillip to the efforts of the government in bringing the Indian money illegally stashed abroad,” the finance ministry said.

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