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BAHAMAS upset with new EU list on tax havens

Featured Minister of Financial Services, Hope Strachan says the naming of the Bahamas by the EU as a tax haven "is unfortunate and is in no way true or reflective of this jurisdiction." Minister of Financial Services, Hope Strachan says the naming of the Bahamas by the EU as a tax haven "is unfortunate and is in no way true or reflective of this jurisdiction."
NASSAU, Bahamas, Jan 23, CMC – The Bahamas has described as “unfortunate” a report to be released by the European Union naming several countries that make tax crimes easier to be committed.

Minister of Financial Services, Hope Strachan, said Nassau had been made aware of the situation by a report carried by the Associated Press naming the Bahamas among the list of countries identified as tax havens.

”This is most unfortunate as this is in no way true or reflective of this jurisdiction. The Bahamas is a clean, compliant jurisdiction with a robust regulatory regime. We have a strong anti-money laundering and counter terrorism financing system and have been deemed to be largely compliant by the standards set by The Financial Action Task Force. Moreover, two years ago,” Strachan said in a statement.

She said that the Bahamas executed an inter-governmental agreement with The United States and have implemented FATCA (Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) for the automatic exchange of Financial Account Tax information with the Internal Revenue Service in the USA through the Ministry of Finance which is the competent authority here in this jurisdiction.

She said furthermore, the country’s regulatory obligations as it relates to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the Global forum are being met.

“We are firm in our commitment to a 2018 reporting date for the automatic exchange of information. Much of the work has been done to that end as the enabling legislation for the automatic exchange of information under the common reporting standard has been enacted, regulations are set for completion by the end of this month and Guidance notes will follow shortly after.

“We have also initiated the negotiations on a bi lateral basis with at least 45 countries who are members of the Global Forum including the countries of the European Union. In effect we have complied with the rules set by the OECD as it relates to the overarching principals of transparency in tax matters. We intend to continue to follow the rules and to comply.”

The Financial Services Minster said that “one would assume that following the rules set by our peers would result in acceptance that we intend to operate with integrity and a sense of commitment.

“Unfortunately that is not the case in this increasingly competitive environment that is financial services,” she said, adding “therefore, I wish to state categorically that we are not a jurisdiction that encourages or tolerates tax crimes and are moving expeditiously to meet the 2018 deadline for the automatic exchange of information through the implementation of the Common Reporting Standard (CRS)”.

Last modified onMonday, 23 January 2017 07:27
  • Countries: Bahamas