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The provision of information by one tax authority to another: lessons from Chatfield

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In its network of bilateral double tax agreements (DTAs), the UK has agreed to provide information to foreign tax authorities, typically based on article 26 of the OECD Model Tax Convention on Income and on Capital. However, a balance must be struck between the desire of a tax authority to gather information and the right of a taxpayer to privacy. Specifically, the request must not be a mere ‘fishing expedition’ by a tax authority. Following upon AZP [2012] SGHC 112 (Singapore) and Berlioz Investment Fund SA (Case C-682/15), the recent case of Chatfield & Co [2017] NZHC 3289 sheds important light upon the threshold requirement of ‘necessity’ or ‘reasonable foreseeability’ in terms of the provision of information by one tax authority to another under DTAs.

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