Island passes crucial Global Forum test
Bermuda has passed a crucial test in winning international approval of its tax information exchange practices with other jurisdictions.
The island was rated by The Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes as “largely compliant” — maintaining the level of compliance it achieved during a previous assessment in 2013.
The enhanced assessment focused on “the availability of and access by tax authorities to beneficial ownership information of all legal entities and arrangements”, according to the Global Forum website.
Bermuda’s largely compliant status was also achieved by Canada, Australia, Cayman Islands, Germany and Qatar, while three jurisdictions — Ireland, Mauritius and Norway — were “compliant”.
David Burt, the Premier and Minister of Finance, praised the work of government officials in achieving the standard.
“This is tremendous news and excellent for Bermuda,” Mr Burt said. “My thanks to all involved in securing this important outcome.
“This result is a testament to the hard work of the team in the Ministry of Finance.
“With an impending European Union blacklist on the horizon, this was one of the important tests that Bermuda had to pass.
“It is good news for local industry, boosting confidence in Bermuda as an international business centre. A bad rating would have most certainly guaranteed Bermuda to be blacklisted by the EU, and it is through Bermuda’s commitment to compliance that we can avoid such a result.”
The new round of peer reviews — launched in mid-2016 — followed a six-year process during which the Global Forum assessed the legal and regulatory framework for information exchange (Phase 1) as well as the actual practices and procedures (Phase 2) in 119 jurisdictions worldwide.
The Global Forum is the continuation of a forum which was created in the early 2000s in the context of the OECD’s work to address the risks to tax compliance posed by non-co-operative jurisdictions.
The original members of the Global Forum consisted of OECD countries and jurisdictions that had agreed to implement transparency and exchange of information for tax purposes. The Global Forum was restructured in September 2009 in response to the G20 call to strengthen implementation of these standards.
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