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Nick Sherry

Assistant Treasurer

9 June 2009 - 14 September 2010

Media Release of 16/12/2009

NO.111

Australia and Samoa Sign Tax Transparency Agreement

The Assistant Treasurer, Senator Nick Sherry, and the Samoan Minister of Revenue, the Hon Tuu'u Anasi'i Leota, today signed a bilateral tax information exchange agreement (TIEA) that will allow the exchange of tax information between Australia and Samoa.

Samoa is now the eleventh jurisdiction and the second Pacific island country to sign such an agreement with Australia.

"As Chair of the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information, Australia is at the forefront of international measures to dramatically boost tax transparency," said the Assistant Treasurer.

"Concluding TIEAs with our neighbours is an important component of the Rudd Government's commitment to improving the integrity of the Australian and international tax system."

"As part of this, it is also very important we see improvements in tax transparency in our own region, so signing another agreement with a key Pacific island jurisdiction is a big step forward."

"The Rudd Government welcomes Samoa's constructive engagement in this area."

In addition to the TIEA the Assistant Treasurer and Minister Leota also signed an Additional Benefits Agreement (ABA).

The ABA will establish an administrative mechanism to resolve transfer pricing disputes between taxpayers and the revenue authorities of Australia or Samoa and eliminate double taxation of certain income derived by retirees, government employees and students.

The new arrangements will also assist Samoan revenue authorities through the provision of technical assistance and training to be delivered by the Australian Tax Office, to ensure today's TIEA is successfully implemented.

"I am pleased to confirm that Minister Leota has indicated this measure will directly assist the Samoan authorities to successfully deliver on the content of the TIEA."

Both agreements were signed at Parliament House, Canberra during Minister Leota's visit to Australia and will enter into force after both countries have completed their relevant domestic requirements. Legislation for this purpose, where necessary, will be introduced into the Australian Parliament as soon as possible.

Copies of the agreements are available on the Treasury website at www.treasury.gov.au.

CANBERRA
16 December 2009