The Government of Jamaica has signed a tax treaty agreement with the Macao Special Administrative Region (SAR) of the People's Republic of China (PRC), to exchange information on taxation matters.
Finance and Planning Minister, Dr. the Hon. Peter Phillips, told journalists at the signing ceremony on Friday at his National Heroes Circle offices, that the agreement is aimed at strengthening administrative cooperation between the countries on tax issues and will enhance the ability of both countries to monitor taxpayers and to ensure that revenue owed to each jurisdiction is collected.
"This agreement will certainly help bolster the capacity of the tax authorities in Jamaica and Macao to mobilise revenue that is due to both countries," he said.
"We find it necessary to provide a more administratively effective environment that will enable us to secure the revenues that are necessary and also to be able to attract investment, because increasingly, these agreements are part of the requirement of other states in doing business with Jamaica," the Finance Minister added.
He outlined that careful scrutiny has been given in the agreement to the areas of information held by banks and other financial institutions, ownership structure of companies, partnerships, and trusts to ensure their validity and integrity of companies operating in both jurisdiction.
He further added that the agreement sets out the manner in which information is to be provided, as well as the procedure to be followed where a request is denied or a dispute occurs.
Macao’s Secretary of Economy and Finance, Tam Pak Yuen, said the tax treaty agreement will facilitate future investigation of cross border tax evasion.
"It also shows the countries' determination to cooperate internationally in a global fight against illicit financial flows that is undermining our global financial systems and affecting the fiscal soundness of many jurisdictions around the world," he said.
Macao, also spelled Macau, is one of two SARs of the PRC, the other being Hong Kong. The PRC's Central People's Government is responsible for the territory's defence and foreign affairs, while Macao maintains its own legal system, police force, monetary system, customs policy, and immigration policy.