The government has met all of the commitments to the European Union (EU) that could reduce the risk of The Bahamas being blacklisted once again, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Peter Turnquest told Guardian Business yesterday.
Turnquest added that the final pieces of legislation needed to keep The Bahamas’ financial services sector in good standing with the EU were presented in the 2019/2020 budget.
“We have met all of our commitments and have enacted regulations and legislation to put those commitments into force, including the last pieces of legislation included in the budget package to give effect to the removal of preferences,” he said.
“We are now preparing for peer reviews to ensure that our actions match up to our words.”
Last year the government tabled legislation designed to ensure compliance with tax matters highlighted by the EU and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). The legislation was benchmarked with other jurisdictions and was found to be adequate.
The EU and OECD want to ensure that Bahamian international business companies (IBCs) have economic substance and that all of their substantial owners are known and listed.
In May, The Bahamas was revealed to be on another tax haven list, one that placed it at number nine on a list of the “top ten most corrosive corporate tax havens in the world”, as outlined by the Corporate Tax Haven Index.
The index is compiled by the Tax Justice Network, an independent international network which focuses on research, analysis and advocacy in the area of international tax and financial regulation, including the role of tax havens.
The top ten countries “that have done the most to proliferate corporate tax avoidance and break down the global corporate tax system”, according to an article published by the Tax Justice Network, are the British Virgin Islands, Bermuda, Cayman Islands, Netherlands, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Jersey, Singapore, The Bahamas and Hong Kong.
The article further notes that some of the “world’s most aggressive countries in terms of driving down other countries’ withholding tax rates through treaties”, also find themselves on the “top ten most corrosive corporate tax havens in the world” list.
Education: Florida International University, BS in Journalism