In a media release issued on 8 October 2009, the Assistant Treasurer, Senator Nick Sherry, announced that Australia and Guernsey, a significant financial centre, signed a new tax information exchange (TIE) agreement on that day in Istanbul, Turkey.
The TIE agreement with Guernsey will provide for bilateral exchange of taxpayer information, on request, for both civil and criminal tax purposes. This will allow the Commissioner of Taxation to seek information relevant to an Australian tax investigation directly from the authorities in Guernsey.
Australia and Guernsey also signed an agreement on the allocation of taxing rights over certain income of individuals. This will eliminate double taxation of certain income derived by government employees and students. This agreement will also establish an administrative mechanism to resolve transfer pricing disputes between taxpayers and the revenue authorities of Australia or Guernsey.
The two agreements will enter into force after both countries have completed their relevant domestic requirements. The Minister indicated that legislation for this purpose will be introduced into the Australian Parliament as soon as practicable.
The Minister also said: "These treaty signings and continuing negotiations with other jurisdictions reflect the Rudd Government's commitment to the widespread implementation of international standards on tax transparency and integrity. Australia is now the chair of the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes, an international leadership role in the fight against tax avoidance and evasion, so while here at the IMF and World Bank meetings I am strongly encouraging my counterparts to join us in this task."
For a copy of the Minister's media release, No 2009/069, 8 October 2009, go here
For a copy of the two agreements (Australia - Guernsey Agreement for the allocation of taxing rights and Australia - Guernsey Tax Information Exchange Agreement), go here