Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Law Report - disclosure of information - Tax Information Exchange Agreements

Bunge Limited v The Minister of Finance [2013] SC (Bda) Civ

The Applicant was challenging the Minister's refusal to provide a copy of a request for information by Argentina under an Agreemnet for the Exchange of Information Relating to Taxes.

Hellman J notedthat the International Co-operation (Tax Information Exchange Agreements) Act 2005 was materially similar to the USA - Bermuda Tax Convention Act 1986 for these purposes, although the 2005 Act did not contain a provision that the notice requesting the information should contain the pertinent details of the initial Request [15].

He held fairness and justice required that an applicant was entitled to be satisfied that a request fulfilled the statutory requirements. The right to disclosure of the request is not unfetted. Confidential or sensitive information, for example information prejudicial to the investigation, could be redacted [38]. If necessary, the Court could review the unredacted request in the absence of the applicant to determine whether or not it is valid [41].

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