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The Exchange of Tax Information Portal is an initiative of the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes. The Global Forum conducts peer reviews of its member jurisdictions' ability to co-operate with other tax administrations in accordance with the internationally agreed standard. The standard provides for exchange of information on request where it is foreseeably relevant to the administration and enforcement of the domestic tax laws of the requesting jurisdiction. Effective exchange of information requires that jurisdictions ensure information is available, that it can be obtained by the tax authorities and that there are mechanisms in place allowing for the exchange of that information. The Global Forum's peer review process examines both the legal and regulatory aspects of exchange (Phase 1 reviews) and the exchange of information in practice (Phase 2). The EOI Portal will track the development of these peer reviews, including changes that jurisdictions make in response to the Global Forum's recommendations.

Peer Review: Peer Review Report Phase 1 Legal and Regulatory Framework - Cook Islands

This report for Cook Islands has been published on 20 Jun 2012. You can buy this report, or browse it online below.

Skip directly to the Executive Summary. You may also want to view the tables of determinations and ratings.


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Determinations and Recommendations

Jurisdictions should ensure that ownership and identity information for all relevant entities and arrangements is available to their competent authorities. (ToR A.1)
Determination Factors Recommendations
The element is in place, but certain aspects of the legal implementation of the element need improvement.   International trusts are not explicitly required to maintain identity information concerning beneficiaries in all cases.  The Cook Islands should ensure the availability of ownership and identity information in respect of beneficiaries of international trusts in all cases. 
Jurisdictions should ensure that reliable accounting records are kept for all relevant entities and arrangements. (ToR A.2)
Determination Factors Recommendations
The element is not in place.   Limited liability companies, international partnerships, limited partnerships and international trusts are not explicitly required to keep records that (i) correctly explain all transactions; (ii) enable the financial position of the entity to be determined with reasonable accuracy at any time; and (iii) allow financial statements to be prepared.  The Cook Islands should require all relevant entities and arrangements to keep records that (i) correctly explain all transactions; (ii) enable the financial position of the entity to be determined with reasonable accuracy at any time; and (iii) allow financial statements to be prepared. 
International companies, limited liability companies, international partnerships, limited partnerships and international trusts are not explicitly required to keep underlying documentation.  The Cook Islands should require all relevant entities and arrangements to keep underlying documentation in respect of all transactions. 
Liquidated domestic companies, international companies, limited liability companies, international partnerships, limited partnerships and international trusts are not explicitly required to maintain their accounting records, including underlying documentation, for a minimum of five years.   The Cook Islands should require all relevant entities and arrangements to keep reliable accounting records, including underlying documentation, for a minimum of five years. 
Banking information should be available for all account-holders. (ToR A.3)
Determination Factors Recommendations
The element is in place.      
Competent authorities should have the power to obtain and provide information that is the subject of a request under an exchange of information arrangement from any person within their territorial jurisdiction who is in possession or control of such information (irrespective of any legal obligation on such person to maintain the secrecy of the information). (ToR B.1)
Determination Factors Recommendations
The element is in place.      
The rights and safeguards (e.g. notification, appeal rights) that apply to persons in the requested jurisdiction should be compatible with effective exchange of information. (ToR B.2)
Determination Factors Recommendations
The element is in place.      
Exchange of information mechanisms should provide for effective exchange of information. (ToR C.1)
Determination Factors Recommendations
The element is in place.      
The jurisdictions' network of information exchange mechanisms should cover all relevant partners. (ToR C.2)
Determination Factors Recommendations
The element is in place.     Cook Islands should continue to develop its EOI network with all relevant partners. 
The jurisdictions' mechanisms for exchange of information should have adequate provisions to ensure the confidentiality of information received. (ToR C.3)
Determination Factors Recommendations
The element is in place.      
The exchange of information mechanisms should respect the rights and safeguards of taxpayers and third parties. (ToR C.4)
Determination Factors Recommendations
The element is in place.      
The jurisdiction should provide information under its network of agreements in a timely manner. (ToR C.5)
Determination Factors Recommendations
The assessment team is not in a position to evaluate whether this element is in place, as it involves issues of practice that are dealt with in the Phase 2 review.