Barbados amongst eight jurisdictions removed from EU Tax list

Barbados has been named amongst eight jurisdictions that have been removed from the EU’s list of non-cooperative jurisdictions for tax purposes. This follows commitments made at a high political level, to remedy EU concerns.

Yesterday, the Ministry of Industry, International Business, Commerce and Small Business Development, drew attention to a statement issued by the Council of the European Union (EU), in which the announcement was made.

“Barbados, Grenada, the Republic of Korea, Macao SAR, Mongolia, Panama, Tunisia and the United Arab Emirates are moved to a separate category of jurisdictions, subject to close monitoring,” the Council noted.

“On 23 January 2018, the Council agreed that a delisting was justified, in the light of an expert assessment of the commitments made by these jurisdictions, to address deficiencies identified by the EU. In each case, the commitments were backed by letters signed at a high political level,” the statement said.

A release outlining the removal of Barbados, as well as Grenada, from the EU’s List of non-cooperative jurisdictions for tax, was also issued by Wayne Lewis, Press & Information Officer in the Political and Press & Information Section of the Delegation of the European Union to Barbados, the Eastern Caribbean States, the OECS and CARICOM/CARIFORUM.

That release quoted Vladislav Goranov, Minister for Finance of Bulgaria, which currently holds the Council Presidency as stating, “Our listing process is already proving its worth.”

“Jurisdictions around the world have worked hard to make commitments to reform their tax policies. Our aim is to promote good tax governance globally,” he added.

It also noted that the decision leaves nine jurisdictions on the list of non-cooperative jurisdictions out of 17 announced initially on December 5, 2017. These are American Samoa, Bahrain, Guam, Marshall Islands, Namibia, Palau, Saint Lucia, Samoa and Trinidad and Tobago. The list also carries recommendations on steps to take to be de-listed.

The Ministry of Industry, International Business, Commerce and Small Business Development has meanwhile noted that prior to the December 6, 2017 press conference on the EU listing of Barbados as a non-cooperative tax jurisdiction, Barbados dispatched detailed correspondence to the EU, requesting “an urgent review of the rather unfortunate listing and enquiring as to the rationale for placing Barbados on the so-called ‘blacklist’”.

“The Secretariat to the Code of Conduct Group indicated that correspondence would be forthcoming from the European Union, detailing the reason for the listing of Barbados as a non-cooperative tax jurisdiction. On December 22, 2017, Barbados received correspondence from the EU indicating that the listing of Barbados occurred due to a query which the Council had regarding one of the regimes to which Barbados had already made a commitment to address. At the time of the listing, Barbados had stated through the Honourable Minister Donville Inniss that Barbados’ listing was unfortunate and indeed it was, for this query was never communicated to Barbados until after being placed on the list of non-cooperative tax jurisdictions” the Ministry indicated.

“Nevertheless, Barbados responded on January 3, 2018, after the European Union’s office had re-opened following the Christmas and New Year’s holiday closure. Barbados’ response clarified the query, iterated that the query was never communicated to Barbados and requested a teleconference with the Chair of the Code of Conduct Group” the statement added.
It was noted that the amicable teleconference occurred on January 10, 2018, and Barbados was informed that its stated position would be forwarded to the Council of Finance Ministers Meeting of the European Union which was held yesterday (January 23, 2018) for confirmation of removal from the list of non-cooperative tax jurisdictions. (RSM)

Barbados Advocate

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