2015 Sept: The Cook Islands signed its 21st Tax Information Exchange Agreement (“TIEA”) with the Kingdom of Belgium in Brussels on 21 August 2015. The signing signifies further progress by the Cook Islands in meeting our international tax obligations.
The Minister of Finance, Honourable Mark Brown stated that “these signings are an important step for the Cook Islands in demonstrating its international cooperation on tax matters and to the principles of transparency and effective exchange of information”, and that “the entering into of this agreement is further evidence of the Cook Islands’ commitment to the Global Forum’s efforts in creating a level playing field in the international arena, encompassing the principals of transparency and effective exchange of information for tax purposes.”
This signing makes a total of 21 TIEAs entered into by the Cook Islands, and demonstrates that the Cook Islands has become a leading jurisdiction in the fight against tax evasion and avoidance. The TIEAs allow for these countries and the Cook Islands to request information from each other where a specific taxpayer is under investigation, and where there is reason to believe that relevant information is held in the other country.
Recently the Cook Islands underwent a Phase 2 Peer Review by the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes, which resulted in a largely compliant rating, confirming our advancements and good international standing in this area.