Category: Bahamas

Bahamas’ Corporate Tax World’s Most ‘Corrosive’

The Bahamas yesterday received no credit for laws said to have raised compliance costs by 75-80 percent after its corporate tax policies were rated as the world’s most “corrosive”. This nation achieved a “perfect” 100 out of 100, a score matched only by the Isle of Man, Turks & Caicos… – Continue reading

Govt Approves Tax Certificate Reply To Oecd

The government has approved the creation of tax residency certificates for permanent residents so they can prove compliance with other countries’ laws, a Cabinet Minister said yesterday. Brent Symonette, minister of financial services, trade and industry and Immigration, told the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP) Caribbean Conference that… – Continue reading

Central Bank Official: Oecd Tried To ‘Hobble’ Permanent Residency

A top Central Bank official has accused the OECD of trying to “hobble” the competitiveness of The Bahamas’ economic permanent residency regime by including it in an arbitrary “quasi-blacklist”. Charles Littrell, the regulator’s inspector of banks and trust companies, in a speech to a Turks & Caicos financial services conference,… – Continue reading

Ministers meet with EU, OECD to discuss ending tax watchlist

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, K. Peter Turnquest, led a delegation to Brussels and Paris this week, for frank discussions with high-ranking officials within the European Commission and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) on The Bahamas’ compliance with international standards on tax governance. The meetings… – Continue reading

Bahamas Developers Blast Oecd’s ‘Cynical’ Targeting

Bahamas-based developers have blasted the OECD’s “cynical” attempt to “”de-legitimise” this nation’s key investment product by suggesting it threatens the global fight against tax evasion. The newly-formed Bahamas Developers Association (BDA), in a recent statement, argued that the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) was wrong to list this… – Continue reading

Among wider reforms, Bahamas pledges to enact beneficial ownership bill by year-end

The Bahamas has drafted new legislation to ensure the jurisdiction achieves the right balance of business, economic sustainability, and compliance with international standards. Uppermost among the Bahamas’ priorities include compliance with the OECD and EU criteria on tax governance which has led to the Bahamas implementing sweeping changes to the… – Continue reading

Tax havens refuse cooperation with Pakistan

Pakistan has been unable to get much cooperation from 11 countries known as tax havens around the world to share information on offshore wealth amid a global clampdown on tax evasion. Under the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development’s (OECD) new automatic exchange of information programme, effective since September 1,… – Continue reading

Bahamas ‘Must Address’ Beneficial Owner Access

The deputy prime minister has reiterated that The Bahamas “must address” access to beneficial ownership information for all corporate entities domiciled in this jurisdiction. KP Turnquest said the Government was looking to the Register of Beneficial Owners Bill 2018 as the solution, although beneficial ownership will not be publicly available…. – Continue reading

Property Tax U-Turn Played To The Privileged, Says Davis

OPPOSITION leader Phillip Davis yesterday slammed the Minnis administration’s over its recent decision to revert to the previous definition of owner-occupied properties, arguing that this was a “stark contrast” to the treatment of Bahamians. Despite the insistence of Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance K Peter Turnquest that the… – Continue reading

Lyford Cay Blasts 500% Hike In Tax

The Government is moving to reinstate the $50,000 property tax “cap” after The Bahamas’ wealthiest community slammed “punitive taxation” that threatens “500 percent or greater” tax hikes. KP Turnquest, deputy prime minister, yesterday told Tribune Business that the Government was “actively reviewing” recent Real Property Tax Act reforms that could… – Continue reading

Tax Hike ‘Shockwaves’ Hit High-End Properties

Foreign investors were yesterday said to have halted construction projects, with some threatening to sell their high-end properties, as the “shockwaves” from Budget tax changes hit home. Robert Myers, the Organisation for Responsible Governance’s (ORG) principal, told Tribune Business that much of the Bahamas’ second home market “is dead” unless… – Continue reading

Central Bank: Client Loss Not Like We Thought

Growing tax compliance demands have not impacted the Bahamian financial services industry as badly as anticipated, the Central Bank is arguing, despite the sector’s continued contraction. The regulator, in its 2017 survey of the sector’s economic contribution, said there were signs that international banks and trust companies were “retaining a… – Continue reading

TCI dodges EU tax haven black list

THE TURKS and Caicos Islands has managed to avoid being placed on the European Union’s tax haven black list. Although the territory was on the anti-corruption watchdog’s grey list in 2017, prudent financial measures including tax transparency and compliance have prevented international sanctions. The EU’s grey list consists of jurisdictions… – Continue reading

‘Blacklist Over – But We Must Be Wary Of More Eu Pressure’

SENATOR Dion Foulkes yesterday forecast the country would soon face more pressures from the European Union and should be ready to act quickly to avoid further reputational damage. On Friday, Finance Minister K Peter Turnquest announced the Bahamas had been removed from the European Union’s “blacklist” of non-cooperative jurisdictions for… – Continue reading

Use Eu’s Demands To ‘Set Our Own Table’

The Bahamas must now focus on leveraging the European Union’s (EU) demands to “set our own table” and boost GDP growth and employment, a well-known attorney is urging. Michael Paton, also a former Bahamas Financial Services Board (BFSB) chairman, said this nation has the opportunity to design an “economic substance”… – Continue reading

Ownership Registry Is ‘Not Set In Stone’

Attorney General Carl Bethel QC. Photo: Terrel W Carey/Tribune Staff Legislation to create a central Beneficial Ownership Registry is “not set in stone”, the Attorney General has revealed, with the Government seeking “urgent” consultation on the issue. Carl Bethel QC, addressing a Bahamas Financial Services Board (BFSB)-sponsored seminar, said the… – Continue reading

$1.745m Software Deal To Facilitate Tax Exchange

The Ministry of Finance has embraced a software solution from Vizor AEOI Software to help meet its automatic tax information exchange (AEOI) commitments. The Bahamas will use Vizor’s solution to meet its obligations under the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD)’s Common Reporting Standard (CRS), and its Foreign Account… – Continue reading

Bahamas Slips In Half OECD ‘Peer Review’ Criteria

The Bahamas slipped slightly in its latest OECD “peer review”, although it maintained its “largely compliant” ranking amid beneficial ownership and tax information exchange concerns. The just-released full Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) report, produced by its Global Forum on transparency and tax information exchange, showed The Bahamas… – Continue reading

Dpm Pledges ‘Most Stringent Controls’ On Ownership Registry

THE Deputy Prime Minister yesterday promised that the proposed Beneficial Ownership registry will have “the most stringent controls”, amid industry concerns over the lack of prior consultation. K P Turnquest told Tribune Business that it was “not an unreasonable guess” to suggest that the Bahamas would follow the Cayman Islands’… – Continue reading

‘We’ll Lose The Plot’ If Eu/Wto Dictate Taxation Reforms

The Bahamas will have “lost the plot” if it allows external pressures to dictate tax reform, a top accountant yesterday warning against any “knee jerk” changes. Gowon Bowe, the Bahamas Institute of Chartered Accountants (BICA) president, told Tribune Business that this nation must avoid reform merely for the sake of… – Continue reading

Corporate Taxation Dumped In Eu Bill

The Government has stripped corporate taxation from its anti-blacklisting response, as a top attorney yesterday warned: “Time is not our friend.” Michael Paton, who co-heads the financial sector working group dealing with the European Union (EU) concerns, told Tribune Business it will be “a long summer” as the Bahamas seeks… – Continue reading

Corporate Tax Promise Not ‘Concrete’ For Eu

THE Bahamas will be unable to satisfy the European Union’s (EU) demands by merely promising to implement corporate taxation, a prominent attorney has warned. Michael Paton, who co-heads the financial services industry working group assessing the Government’s ‘blacklisting’ response, told Tribune Business in a recent interview that time and the… – Continue reading

Qc Backs Income Taxes To Ease ‘Rich/Poor Divide’

AN outspoken QC is backing the introduction of corporate and personal income taxes as a way to reduce “the gulf between rich and poor” in the Bahamas. Fred Smith QC, the Callenders & Co attorney and partner, has added his voice to those urging the Government to use the European… – Continue reading

Corporate Taxation On The Way For Bahamas

The Government’s planned legal reforms pave the way for the introduction of “corporate taxation” on a wide range of Bahamian financial services products, it was revealed yesterday. Carl Bethel QC, the Attorney General, confirmed to Tribune Business that legislation intended to address the European Union’s (EU) ‘blacklisting’ concerns was designed… – Continue reading

Ambassador To Eu Proposal In Wake Of Blacklisting

IN THE aftermath of The Bahamas’ blacklisting by the European Union for being a tax haven, Financial Services Minister Brent Symonette says it might be time for The Bahamas to consider appointing an ambassador to the EU to increase dialogue on matters concerning this country. The St Anne’s MP said… – Continue reading

Bahamas ‘Failed To Read Tea Leaves’ On Corporate Tax

THE Bahamas’ failure “to read the tea leaves” and introduce a corporate income tax “for ourselves” has contributed to Europe’s planned ‘blacklisting’, a financial executive argued yesterday. Paul Moss, Dominion Management Services’ president, told Tribune Business that implementing such a tax would mean the European Union (EU) “cannot accuse us… – Continue reading

Last-Ditch Bid To Halt Eu Blacklist

The Deputy Prime Minister and minister of financial services were yesterday travelling to Europe in a last-ditch bid to plead the Bahamas’ case against being ‘backlisted’. Carl Bethel QC, the Attorney General, confirmed to Tribune Business that both K P Turnquest and Brent Symonette are leading a government delegation that… – Continue reading

Bahamas Faces Major Tax, Exchange Control Shake-Up

The Bahamas may have to completely overhaul its corporate and taxation structure to escape European Union/OECD ‘blacklisting’ threats, the Attorney General revealed yesterday. Carl Bethel QC told Tribune Business that the Government was “looking very carefully” at whether compliance with European (EU) demands will require this nation to eliminate the… – Continue reading

Bahamas ‘Done Everything Possible’ To Avoid Blacklist

THE Deputy Prime Minister believes the Bahamas has “done everything we could possibly do” to escape the European Union (EU) ‘tax haven’ blacklist that will be issued tomorrow. K P Turnquest told Tribune Business that the Minnis administration “has no reason to think” this nation will be deemed a ‘non-cooperative… – Continue reading

‘Low Level’ Corporation Tax Studied

The Deputy Prime Minister yesterday revealed the Bahamas “may have to look at” implementing a low-rate corporate income tax, as global regulatory pressures force “hard decisions” upon it. K P Turnquest, while emphasising that such a move was a long way off, agreed that compliance with the OECD’s Base Erosion… – Continue reading

Ag: Bahamas ‘Riding Behind Competitors’ In Financial Services

THE Attorney General yesterday lamented that “riding behind our competitors” had caused “incalculable” damage to the financial services industry, accusing the former government of failing to act on tax information exchange changes. Carl Bethel QC, addressing the Senate, said the Christie administration had “done nothing’ for three years in relation… – Continue reading

Income Tax Jitters in The Bahamas Following IMF Recommendation

NASSAU, The Bahamas, Friday September 22, 2017 – An International Monetary Fund (IMF) proposal for The Bahamas to implement a low rate income tax has drawn a mixture of skepticism, approval and downright rejection. Following its Article IV consultation with the Hubert Minnis administration, the Washington-based financial body urged the… – Continue reading

Provider: Automatic Tax Share Breaches Constitutional Rights

A veteran financial services provider yesterday warned that automatic tax information exchange could breach fundamental rights protected by the Bahamian constitution, while threatening to make this nation a “European satellite”. #Anthony Howorth, president of Euro-Caribbean Management Services, questioned whether the Government and financial services industry had “really thought through” the… – Continue reading

Bahamas Moves To Stop ‘Devastating’ Blacklisting

The Government yesterday moved to prevent the “devastating” consequences of a financial services ‘blacklisting’ by confirming its readiness to alter the Bahamas’ automatic tax information exchange approach. #A Ministry of Finance statement, issued yesterday evening, said the Minnis administration had “formally indicated its interest” to the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation… – Continue reading

Bahamas Under Rising Tax Exchange Pressure

The Bahamas is under growing pressure to bow to international demands that it automatically exchange tax information on a ‘multilateral’ basis, with the European Union (EU) and its members refusing to accept this nation’s preferred approach. #Well-placed Tribune Business sources, both inside the Bahamas and internationally, have confirmed that the… – Continue reading

‘Survival Of Financial Services Not An Option’

A prominent QC yesterday backed calls for the Bahamas to switch to a ‘low tax’ business model, warning: “The survival of financial services is not an option.” Brian Moree QC, senior partner at McKinney, Bancroft & Hughes, said the Bahamas had to “figure out how to adjust its business model”… – Continue reading

Bahamas on Track to Implement Common Reporting Standard (CRS)

Nassau, The Bahamas – The Bahamas has taken many steps to comply with global standards in the financial services sector. One such step is the implementation of the Common Reporting Standard (CRS). The Common Reporting Standard (CRS), developed in response to the G20 request and approved by the OECD Council… – Continue reading

Bahamas Will ‘Do All It Can’ To Avoid Eu Blacklisting

The Bahamian financial services industry “will do all we can” to ensure this nation does not appear on a threatened European Union (EU) ‘blacklist’, Tribune Business was told yesterday. Tanya McCartney, the Bahamas Financial Services Board’s (BFSB) chief executive, said this nation’s implementation of the Common Reporting Standard (CRS) for… – Continue reading

Bahamas makes progress on implementation of Common Reporting Standard

NASSAU, The Bahamas — December 2016 marks a significant month for the Financial Services Industry in The Bahamas. The much-anticipated Bill to provide for the implementation of the Common Standard on Reporting and due diligence for financial Account Information in Tax matters and for connected purposes was passed unanimously in… – Continue reading

High Court confirms tax evasion by companies linked to wealthy businessman Vanda Gould

A series of companies associated with high-flying Sydney accountant who had scores of wealthy clients in Sydney’s eastern suburbs have been found to have avoided paying tax by the High Court, in a case that the tax office has described as “blatant tax evasion”. Four companies linked to accountant, Vanda… – Continue reading

FBR to file FIRs against owners of offshore companies

ISLAMABAD: The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) is making preparation for registration of FIRs against those selected individuals who owned offshore companies and were named in Panama/Bahamas Leaks but failed to comply against the sent-out tax notices within the stipulated timeframe. The FBR found 114 cases whereby individuals were non-compliant… – Continue reading

EU agrees screening process for tax havens, critics cry foul

European Union finance ministers agreed on Tuesday how to screen countries for a blacklist of tax havens across the world, officials said, and said applying zero-rate taxes was not necessarily a factor, prompting an outcry. The bloc committed in May to agree on a common list of tax offenders by… – Continue reading

Offshore companies: FBR refuses to share tax details

The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) on Wednesday refused to share tax details of offshore companies owned by Mariam Nawaz, Hassan Nawaz, Imran Khan and Jehangir Khan Tarin with National Assembly Standing Committee on Finance. The National Assembly Standing Committee on Finance, which met under the chairmanship of Qaiser Ahmed… – Continue reading

Brussels aims to harmonise corporate tax by 2021

The European Commission has unveiled its latest plan to harmonise corporate tax. After two past failures, the executive hopes the recent flurry of tax scandals will give the project a new lease of life. The EU has revived its tax crusade with a new attempt to establish a Common Consolidated… – Continue reading

Pakistan to seek offshore companies information from nine tax havens

Pakistan’s authorities are making efforts to seek information about tax details of 270 offshore companies from nine known tax havens around the globe where 444 individuals have invested billions of dollars, and, finally, their names appeared through PanamaLeaks, The News has learnt. The cases of 444 individuals involving nine jurisdictions… – Continue reading

After disclosure on Bahamas tax havens, UN experts urge governments to take action

In the wake of the recent disclosure of leaked Bahamas tax haven data, United Nations human rights experts today urged governments to work together on liquidating offshore tax avoidance and establishing tougher financial regulations. In a news release, Juan Pablo Bohoslavsky, the UN Independent Expert on foreign debt and human… – Continue reading