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Cook Islands: Double Tax Treaties

Introduction

The Cook Islands has not entered into any Double Tax Treaties but has signed 16 Tax Information Exchange Agreements with other countries. The Islands have passed other laws dealing with provision of information in respect of criminal matters, but the authorities habitually do not respond to requests for information regarding fiscal matters or tax evasion. Legislative changes to implement the exchange of information provisions in the TIEAs has as yet not been passed.

New Zealand and the Cook Islands have signed a Tax Information Exchange Agreement between their two countries as part of international efforts to strengthen cooperation in this area. It was also agreed to establish an annual Joint Ministerial Forum that will further strengthen the special relationship between the Cook Islands and New Zealand.

The Agreement provides for full exchange of information on criminal and civil tax matters between the two countries. New Zealand’s Revenue Minister, Peter Dunne said: "We welcome the signing of this important Agreement with the Cook Islands, with whom we have a close historical, economic and cultural relationship."

"The Agreement will enable the tax authorities of both countries to gain access to information about income and assets that would-be evaders try to hide in the other country,” he continued. "Having access to that information is especially important at a time when countries everywhere are doing all they can to protect their tax bases."

Mr. Dunne said that the Agreement will cover "not only information held by banks and other financial institutions, but also information on who benefits in company ownership chains and on the settlors, trustees and beneficiaries of trusts."

New Zealand’s Prime Minister, John Key, who signed the agreement on behalf of New Zealand, said: “Regular high-level political engagement between our two countries will play an important role in assisting the Cook Islands in developing its economy and also reflects the strong relationship that underpins our partnership.”

Latest Cook Islands Treaty Updates

Treaty Update: Cook Islands - Belgium
17 September, 2015
On September 8, 2015, the Cook Islands Government confirmed that on August 21 a TIEA was signed with Belgium.
Treaty Update: Canada - Cook Islands
26 June, 2015
Canada and the Cook Islands signed a TIEA on June 15, 2015.
Treaty Update: Czech Republic - Cook Islands
03 March, 2015
The Czech Republic on February 24, 2015, signed a tax information exchange agreement with the Cook Islands.
Treaty Update: South Africa - Cook Islands
19 January, 2015
The TIEA between South Africa and the Cook Islands came into force on January 8, 2015.
Treaty Update: Cook Islands - Germany
31 December, 2013
According to preliminary media reports, the TIEA signed between the Cook Islands and Germany entered into force on December 11, 2013.
Treaty Update: Cook Islands - South Africa
19 November, 2013
According to preliminary media reports, the Cook Islands and South Africa signed a TIEA on October 25, 2013.
Treaty Update: Cook Islands - Germany
17 April, 2012
The German Embassy in Wellington on April 6, 2012, announced that Germany and the Cook Islands had signed a TIEA.
Treaty Update: Netherlands - Cook Islands
23 September, 2011
According to the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the TIEA between the Netherlands and the Cook Islands, signed on October 23, 2009, entered into force on September 7, 2011. The agreement only applies to the European part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and is based on the OECD standard.
Treaty Update: Australia - Cook Islands
30 June, 2011
According to preliminary media reports, Australia's tax agreement with the Cook Islands entered into force on June 27, 2011.
Treaty Update: Cook Islands - Korea
08 June, 2011
The TIEA provides for the exchange of information that is relevant to the administration and enforcement of the domestic tax laws of the Cook Islands and the Republic of Korea. Information that is relevant to the assessment and collection of taxes, the recovery and enforcement of tax claims and the investigation of tax matters must be provided by each country upon request.
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