The Bahamas will find out on December 11 if the bills tabled in Parliament on Wednesday, along with recently implemented policies, are enough to remain off the European Union’s (EU) blacklist of non-cooperative jurisdictions for tax purposes.
On Wednesday, the government tabled the Removal of Preferential Exemptions Bill, 2018; the Register of Beneficial Ownership Bill, 2018; and the Commercial Enterprises (Substance Requirements) Bill, 2018, which should put The Bahamas in good standing with the requirements of international financial regulatory bodies.
Finance Minister Peter Turnquest said it is imperative there is a brief legislative process in order to meet the December 11 deadline, which is ahead of the January meeting of the EU’s council of finance ministers.
“The technical group is meeting on December 11 to evaluate all the submissions that have been put forward, and they will make recommendations to European ministers, who will meet in January,” Turnquest said in the House of Assembly on Wednesday.
“So effectively what that means is that on December 11 they will decide whether we will be blacklisted or not, which is why it is important to put this legislation through, so we can demonstrate that we have done what we have to do.”
Turnquest said The Bahamas is “in a battle” to save an industry that is a significant contributor to the economy, and “we are being attacked on multiple fronts”.
“I’m also happy that the members of Her Majesty’s Royal Opposition have pledged their full support for these initiatives and these bills,” he said.
“This, on every front, sends a clear signal to the international community that we believe that this is too big of an issue to allow partisanship to take the focus off what is most important at this time, ensuring that every Bahamian is given an opportunity to attain a measure of wealth in their country.”
Paige started working as a business reporter in August 2016.
Education: Palm Beach Atlantic University in 2006 with a BA in Radio and Television News
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