Government is aiming to ensure that the Territory is never blacklisted again. In presenting “International Tax Authority Act, 2016” to the House of Assembly Premier and Minister for Finance, Dr. the Hon. D. Orlando Smith recalled the 2013 blacklisting and the fight government had to remove the BVI from France’s list of uncooperative jurisdictions.
He noted that situations of being labeled uncooperative should be presented; Hon. Smith also noted that during the period of France’s blacklisting the BVI also received a low rating from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
The Premier told the House during the March 14 sitting: “Madame Speaker a few years ago this country got into a bit of hot water so to say with the French and with the OECD, because we were not responding timely for request for information as we should have been responding based on the tax information agreement that we have with many countries. It took us a little while to get out of that trouble Madame Speaker.”
The Premier said that as a means of cooperating with tax information agreements a body – The International Tax Authority (ITA) was created to deal with the requests, which were being mainly dealt with at that time by the Ministry of Finance.
“Madame Speaker after the establishment of the ITA, it took a little while but we eventually got out of that and were able to be removed from the French blacklist and also have a good standing with the OECD. When this happened that we were blacklisted and we had a low rating with the OECD it did cause a bit of concern. Quite a considerable bit of concern within the industry, and consequently to the BVI Government. He explained that the situation.”
In stressing the importance of the mandated ITA Premier Smith said that it behooves the Territory to maintain its reputation as a well-regulated financial center in order to remain at the level it currently operates. In fact, Hon. Smith explained that after the steps were taken to create the Authority the BVI has witnessed more and more request for information:
“After we got going and got things corrected we now Madame Speaker are seeing more and more requests coming from the different bodies,” the Premier said.
- Source: BVIHotpress.com