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Cook Islands Signs Tax Agreement With Belgium

by Mike Godfrey, Lowtax.net, Washington
17 September, 2015

The Cook Islands' 21st Tax Information Exchange Agreement, signed with Belgium, demonstrates the territory's continued commitment to international cooperation on tax matters and to the principles of transparency and effective exchange of information, according to the jurisdiction's finance minister.

The agreement, signed recently in Brussels, allows for the two countries 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.

The key findings of the review were that the Cook Islands has adequate laws that require authorities to make available tax information, and the territory has effective systems in place for the monitoring and enforcement of its tax information exchange obligations in practice.

However, the OECD Global Forum recommended that the Cook Islands should clarify its legislation governing the maintenance of underlying accounting records and monitor the effectiveness of the new accounting record-keeping obligations.

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