The Bahamas has avoided being blacklisted as a tax haven by the European Union (EU), the Ministry of Finance announced today.
“The Bahamas was not included on the European Union’s list of non-cooperative jurisdictions for tax purposes, which was updated by the EU’s Economic and Financial Affairs Council today,” the statement said.
Over the last several months, several bills were passed in Parliament to help facilitate the cooperation of The Bahamas as a financial jurisdiction.
The bills include the Multinational Entities Financial Reporting Act, 2018; the Commercial Entities (Substance Requirements) Act, 2018; the Removal of Preferential Exemptions Act, 2018; and the Beneficial Ownership Act, 2018, among others.
“The government is very encouraged and pleased by the EU’s decision to not include The Bahamas on its list of non-cooperative jurisdictions,” Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis said in the statement.
“The decision is the result of a strategic and comprehensive approach by the government’s team in consultation with stakeholders. I would like to thank the private sector for its valuable contribution, and reiterate our government’s commitment to continue to do what is necessary to maintain the standing of The Bahamas as a respected international financial center.”
Some of the blacklisted countries include: Aruba, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, Fiji, the United Arab Emirates, Vanuatu, Dominica, Samoa, Trinidad and Tobago, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
The news comes one month after the Bahamas was added to another blacklist by the European Commission due to “strategic deficiencies” in its anti-money laundering (AML) and counter-terrorist financing (CFT) legislation.
However, the European Union rejected the commission’s blacklist because it “was not established in a transparent and resilient process that actively incentivizes affected countries to take decisive action while also respecting their right to be heard”.
Attorney General Carl Bethel categorized that blacklisting as “unwarranted, prejudiced and indefensible”.