On June 14th 2010, Canada and Bermuda signed the Tax Information Exchange Agreement (TIEA) at the Premier’s official residence at Camden, Bermuda.
Under the agreement, dividends of foreign affiliates resident in Bermuda, that are paid to their Canadian parent companies out of the active business income earned in Bermuda, will be exempt from Canadian taxation. Bermuda’s captive insurance industry will be expected to benefit from this change.
Hon. Paula A. Cox, J.P., M.P., Minister of Finance and Deputy Premier of Bermuda said:
“Bermuda, in its capacity as a Vice Chair of the Steering Group of the OECD Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes works closely with Canada, and we very much look forward to welcoming delegates from Canada to Bermuda next year when we host the 2011 Global Forum.”
Bermuda has now signed 22 agreements with provisions for the exchange of information for tax purposes. Bermuda has signed TIEA’s with the United States, Australia, United Kingdom, New Zealand, the Nordic countries (Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark, Iceland, Greenland, Faroe Islands), Netherlands, Germany, Ireland, Netherlands Antilles, France, Mexico, Aruba, Japan, and Portugal. Further, Bermuda has a double taxation agreement with the Kingdom of Bahrain.
A further agreement is due to be signed later this year with Indonesia. Negotiations were completed during the week of June 7th in Hamilton. Minister Cox remarked:
“The Indonesian delegation were particularly delighted to convene with His Excellency the Governor during their time in Bermuda, whose distinguished history includes acting as British Ambassador to Indonesia…
…Currently, there are 62 entities in Bermuda with an Indonesian interest, and we expect this number to grow exponentially as our economic and political ties with Indonesia are strengthened and deepened. This agreement is a significant step forward both in enhancing business ties and investment opportunities between Bermuda and Indonesia but it will also facilitate Bermuda expanding our offerings in the realm of Islamic structured finance, including both conventional and Shari’iah investment funds. It is likely that the global market for Islamic insurance, or Takaful, will continue to grow, opening exciting possibilities for Bermuda reinsurers.”
The agreement with Canada includes all standard means to ensure due process is followed in tax information requests to Bermuda, including, for example, provisions to protect the confidentiality of information provided, as well as adhering to public policy, provisions related to protecting legal privilege, and to ensure that requests for information from Canada are relevant to tax investigations being conducted by Canadian authorities.