‘Taxpayers better disclose assets abroad now’

New Delhi, Dec 3 (IANS) With automatic exchange of information among countries being put in place, Indian taxpayers will be well-served in fully disclosing their foreign assets with the authorities, Minister of State for Finance Jayant Sinha said on Thursday.

Opening the sixth meeting of the Automatic Exchange of Information (AEOI) here, Sinha said non-disclosure of foreign assets could become a “risky” proposition now that globally exchange of tax information is getting more active.

The minister said a strict and efficient framework for effective automatic exchange of information among countries was being put in place, which would become operational from 2017.

India was committed to the common reporting standards (CRS) agreed to by nations for exchange of tax information, Sinha added.

The two-day meeting of the Group on Automatic Exchange of Information (AEOI) of the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes got underway with the ministerial inauguration.

The AEOI Group was set up following the G20 leaders’ declaration in September, 2013 to establish a mechanism to monitor and review the implementation of the new global standard on automatic exchange of information to tackle the menace of black money.

The forum has been tasked the work of implementing the new global standard on automatic exchange of information under the Common Reporting Standards (CRS).

India is part of the Group and has also been elected as a vice-chair.

One of the key areas on which specific reviews will be carried out relate to “confidentiality and data safeguards” to be completed by 2016 for all the jurisdictions which have committed to the new standards, India’s finance ministry said in a statement.

In the New Delhi meeting, reports assessing confidentiality and data safeguards in 32 countries and jurisdictions will be discussed and considered for approval, it said.

The AEOI Group will also further discuss the process of monitoring and implementation of the Common Reporting Standards, it added.

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