Areas of Cooperation

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Cooperation in Avoidance of Double Taxation

 (26 August 2014)

The SAARC Limited Multilateral Agreement on Avoidance of Double Taxation and Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters was signed during the Thirteenth SAARC Summit (Dhaka, 12-13 November 2005). While approving an amendment in Article 16 (1) – Entry into Force - the Thirty-third Session of Standing Committee (New Delhi, 31 March – 1 April 2007) decided as follows:

“24.           The Committee noted with appreciation that the SAARC Limited Multilateral Agreement on Avoidance of Double Taxation and Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters has been ratified by all the Member States. In order to rectify a technical anomaly in Article 16 (1) of the Agreement, the Committee recommended that the phrase, “which shall be done no later than 30 June 2006” at the end of Article 16 (1) be deleted.  It advised the Secretariat to inform the Member States further course of action with regard to the deposit of instrument of acceptance.”

The above Agreement and its Amendment have been ratified by all Member States as per dates given below:

Member States

Taxation

  Amendment

Afghanistan*

Done

Done

Bangladesh

6 Sept 2006  

6 Feb 2008 

Bhutan

25 July 2006  

20 June 07 

India

28 Dec 2005  

25 April 07 

Maldives

15 June 2006 

29 Nov  07 

Nepal

19 Oct 2006  

4 April 2010 

Pakistan

25 Mar 2006 

07 July 2007

Sri Lanka

25 Nov 2006  

13 June 07 

DATE OF NOTIFICATION BY SAARC SECRETARIAT

27 NOV 2006

 19 April 2010

DATE OF ENTRY INTO FORCE

27 DEC 2006

As per Article 14 of the Agreement

* Afghanistan joined SAARC at 14th SAARC Summit, New Delhi, 3-4 April 2007

As mandated in Article 12 of the SAARC Limited Multilateral Agreement on Avoidance of Double Taxation and Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters, the First SAARC Meeting of Competent Authorities on Avoidance of Double Taxation and Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matterswas held at the SAARC Secretariat, Kathmandu on 5-6 April 2011 to facilitate its effective implementation.  The Second Meeting of SAARC Competent Authorities on Avoidance of Double Taxation and Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters was held at the SAARC Secretariat, Kathmandu on 22-23 May 2013 under the chairmanship of Ms. Rahela Choudhury, Member (International Tax), National Board of Revenue, Government of Bangladesh and the leader of the delegation of Bangladesh.  

The Second Meeting reviewed the progress in the implementation of the SAARC Limited Multilateral Agreement on Avoidance of Double Taxation and Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters.  The delegates made presentations on the existing tax structures in their respective countries. The Meeting resumed its discussion on the amendments proposed in the SAARC Limited Multilateral Agreement on Avoidance of Double Taxation and Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters. The Meeting also held initial discussion on the proposal of the Maldives on expansion of the scope of the Agreement as recommended by the Fifteenth Meeting of the Committee on Economic Cooperation held in the Maldives on 15-16 July 2013. As a step towards widening the scope of the Agreement, the delegation of Pakistan proposed that a SAARC Tax Information Exchange Agreement (SAARC TIEA) may be entered into by the SAARC Member States. The Meeting deliberated on the matter and welcomed the offer of Pakistan to prepare a Draft SAARC Agreement for this purpose for discussion in the next Meeting of the Competent Authorities.

With a view to enhancing capacity building, the Meeting welcomed the offer of Pakistan and India to host a four-day Seminar/Training Programme on Exchange of Information/Large Tax Payers Unit at National Inland Revenue Training Academy, Lahore tentatively during September/October 2013; and a four-day Seminar/Training Programme on International Taxation and Transfer Pricing tentatively in February/March 2014 at National Academy of Direct Taxes (NADT), Nagpur, respectively.

The Third Meeting of SAARC Competent Authorities on Avoidance of Double Taxation and Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters was held in Thimphu, Bhutan on 28-29 July 2014 under the Chairmanship of Mr. Mr Yonten Namgyel, Director, Department of Revenue and Customs, Ministry of Finance, Royal Government of Bhutan.

During the Meeting, the delegates made country presentations on the salient features of tax structures prevailing in their respective Member Countries. The Meeting resumed its discussion on facilitating effective implementation of the SAARC Limited Multilateral Agreement on Avoidance of Double Taxation and Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters, including amendments proposed in the Agreement; held discussion on Concept Paper prepared by the Maldives on expanding the scope of the Agreement; considered information provided by Member States on nine parameters for entering into a comprehensive SAARC Agreement on Avoidance of Double Taxation. It also commenced consideration of Draft SAARC Tax Information Exchange Agreement (SAARC TIEA) prepared by Pakistan.

While reviewing the Seminars/Training Programmes conducted since the Second Meeting of SAARC Competent Authorities, it was agreed that frequency of conducting such Seminars/Training Programmes should be increased for the benefit of all concerned officials of Member States which would promote networking among them, encourage exchange of information and enhance capacity building in the tax authorities of all Member States. For this purpose, it was decided to conduct the following Seminars/Training Programmes in 2014-2015:


Topic

Venue

Tentative Schedule

Taxation Issues in Digital Economy  

India

First quarter of 2015

Tax Treaty Negotiations and Application 

Nepal

April 2015

Audit and Investigation of Multinational Enterprises 

Pakistan

Oct 2014/Feb 2015

Automation and e-payment 

Sri Lanka

June 2015

The following Seminars/Training Programmes have been held in the Member States:

  1. Seminar/Training Programme on Automation and System Management was held at National Academy of Direct Taxes (NADT), Nagpur, India on 11-14 July 2011;
  2. Seminar/Training Programme on Corporate Taxation Issues was held in Colombo on 20-23 February 2012;
  3. Seminar/Training Programme on Tax Payers Services was held in Dhulikhel, Nepal on 27-30 November 2012;
  4. Seminar/Training Programme on International Taxation and Transfer Pricing was held at the National Academy of Direct Taxes (NADT), Nagpur on  4-7 March 2014; and 
  5. Seminar on Exchange of Information and Large Taxpayers Unit was held at the Directorate of Training & Research (Inland Revenue), Lahore, Pakistan on  7-11 April 2014 

All the above Seminars were held for a duration of four days each and local hospitality was extended by the respective Host Governments to four participants from each Member State.

The Fourth Meeting of SAARC Competent Authorities will be hosted by India in April 2015.