The EU lists Barbados as a non-cooperative jurisdiction for tax purposes
On 6 October 2020 the Council of the European Union (EU) added Barbados to the EU list of non-cooperative jurisdictions for tax purposes.
The Council outlined that its basis for listing Barbados was the result of the peer review reports published by the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes (Global Forum), which downgraded Barbados’ rating to "partially compliant" with the international standard on transparency and exchange of information on request.
In response to the listing, the Barbados government expressed disappointment with the action and indicated that the “partially compliant” rating was applied in only three of the ten ‘essential elements’ of the Global Forum’s standard. Those elements included:
- availability of ownership and identity information;
- availability of accounting information; and
- quality and timeliness of its responses to requests from overseas tax authorities for tax information on Barbados resident taxpayers.
Barbados was rated as compliant by the Global Forum in the remaining seven essential elements.
Both the Prime Minister and the Minister with responsibility for International Business have explained that Barbados was required to implement a number of changes to its tax information exchange framework between July 2015 and June 2018 in order to become fully compliant with the OECD’s Global Forum Standard on the exchange of tax information.
Those required changes did not take place within the stipulated time frame but were implemented by December 2019. This caused the country to receive a rating of “partially compliant” when the review was completed in March 2020 for the July 2015 to June 2018 period.
The Minister has provided an assurance that Barbados is taking steps to rid itself of the “partially compliant” status and that the country remains resolute in its intention to be the jurisdiction of choice for all reputable investors. In providing additional detail on the country’s efforts, the Minister stated that the country expects its collaboration with the Global Forum to enable a request for a supplementary review on or before the beginning of December in order to achieve the aim of being removed from the Blacklist by February 2021.
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