Turnquest: Bills should allay EU, OECD concerns

The legislation tabled in Parliament Wednesday designed to keep this country in compliance on tax matters with financial watchdogs the European Union (EU) and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), was benchmarked with other jurisdictions and is “solid”, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Peter Turnquest told Guardian Business yesterday.

According to Turnquest, the opinions of many experts in financial matters, as well as existing legislation from other jurisdictions, led to the compendium of bills tabled in the House of Assembly last week.

“We have consulted extensively with industry and other stakeholders and taken advice from international advisors to develop what we believe is solid legislation,” he said.

“We have benchmarked with other relevant jurisdictions as a part of this process, so we believe we are comparable with other jurisdictions taking into account regional and tax systems differences.”

Turnquest said last week while speaking at the launch of HLB International’s executives conference, hosted this year by HLB Galanis & Co., that The Bahamas now has to evaluate new tax regimes in order to broaden its base, which could be eroded as a result of these requirements handed down by the EU and OECD.

The EU and OECD want to ensure that IBCs have economic substance in this country and that all of their substantial owners are known and listed.

This jurisdiction also could be forced to eliminate upfront concessions for foreign investment projects in favor of more equitable models.

Turnquest said at the HLB event that The Bahamas will have to remove, and has begun the process of removing, preferential tax regimes for domestic versus foreign investments and exploring new forms of government revenue.

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Chester Robards

Chester Robards rejoined The Nassau Guardian in November 2017 as a senior business reporter. He has covered myriad topics and events for The Nassau Guardian. Education: Florida International University, BS in Journalism

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