The Netherlands Antilles--which includes the islands of Curacao, Sint Maarten, Bonaire, Saba, and Sint Eustatius--has joined the list of destinations that, for tax purposes, is considered part of the “North American area.” As a result of a new Tax Information Exchange Agreement between the U.S. and the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the cost of conventions, business meetings, and seminars on those Caribbean islands are deductible as business expenses for U.S. taxpayers according to the same rules as those held on U.S. territory.

A TIEA allows the U.S. Department of the Treasury the right to get information on U.S. citizens who have financial interests in another country and is considered an important weapon in fighting tax fraud. In return, U.S. companies are permitted to deduct the cost of their meetings as business expenses.

Typically, business meetings held outside North America are not a tax-deductible expense unless they pass an "as reasonable" test. That is, a U.S. company must show that it is as reasonable for the meeting or convention to be held outside the U.S. as inside. However, meetings in countries that have signed a TIEA with the United States are not held to that standard.

The other Caribbean-area countries that have signed the TIEA include Antigua & Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Bermuda, the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, St. Lucia, Trinidad & Tobago, and Venezuela.