The National Board of Revenue is actively considering signing agreements with tax haven and offshore jurisdiction countries to get information related to illegal investment, money laundering and tax evasion activities by Bangladesh national and companies.
The deal known as Tax Information Exchange Agreement (TIEA) will help the tax authority to get information on the issues and to detect the investors, source of investment and methods of transfer of funds, officials of the NBR said.
They said that they found difficulties in getting information in investigating into the matters related to the names of Bangladeshi individuals and firms that appeared in the Panama Papers and Paradise Papers as investors in some tax haven and offshore jurisdictions in absence of such agreements.
Though the papers revealed that Bangladeshi firms and individuals made investments in tax haven countries, there were no financial details of the investors, they said.
There were also no other ways to get information required to probe into the allegations, they added.
In this context, the tax authority has decided to explore the ways to enter into the agreements with some selected countries known as tax haven and offshore jurisdictions having no tax.
A high official of the NBR on Sunday told New Age that the income tax wing would communicate with the countries to sign the agreement.
He said that the countries were used for money laundering through making investment as there is no corporate tax in tax haven and offshore jurisdiction countries.
‘It is necessary to sign the agreement to bring back the laundered money, or impose and collect tax on that money,’ he said.
The countries do not provide any information related to investors and investment in absence of such agreements, officials said.
Many countries, including neighboring India, have signed TIEAs with some tax haven countries.
Income tax wing will place the proposal before the board for consideration and take next step as per decision of the board, they said.
Barmuda, Bahamas, Barbados, British Virgin Islands, U.S. Virgin Islands, Panama, Hong Kong, Macau, Cyprus, Liechtenstein, San Marino, Mauritius, Seychelles, Marshall Islands, Samoa, among others, are known as tax haven and offshore jurisdiction countries.
The revenue board had launched investigation into the names and firms that appeared in Panama Papers in 2016 and Paradise Papers in November this year as investors in some tax haven countries.
US-based International Consortium of Investigative Journalists leaked thousands of documents which exposed investments in tax haven and offshore jurisdictions.
Earlier in late November, NBR chairman Md Nojibur Rahman said that intelligence wings of the NBR were working with the Bangladesh Financial Intelligence Unit of the Bangladesh Bank on the issue and the findings would be revealed once the investigations are completed.
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