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Finance minister says Bermuda has right to determine its own tax system

Curtis Dickinson, Minister of Finance (File photograph by Blaire Simmons)

Bermuda has a right to decide what is the appropriate tax system for the island and to make its own adjustments.

Any changes to its tax system, which has been in place for 200 years, should be as a result of its own determinations rather than as a result of being told to make alterations to fit a global initiative, according to Curtis Dickinson, the finance minister.

He expressed that view in an interview with the London-based Financial Times newspaper, and said it was a "sovereignty issue".

Earlier this month, finance ministers of the Group of Seven countries issued an accord supporting the outlines of a new global tax system, and a commitment to a minimum corporate tax rate of 15 per cent.

While recognising that Bermuda’s tax system is not perfect and requires adjustments, Mr Dickinson told the FT that for Bermuda, taxing corporate income would create more bureaucracy and complexity for businesses, and would also threaten the island's role as a centre for reinsurance that helps insurance companies protect themselves against claims arising from natural catastrophes, such as hurricanes and wildfires.

He said Bermuda raises revenue through payroll tax and taxes on property, customs duties and fees paid by international businesses, and added that Bermuda's tax system was consumption-based and simple to administer.

Mr Dickinson said: "That is the system we have had in place … It has not been changed to encourage people to move here. It has been what it has been. The system works for us."

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Published June 23, 2021 at 7:58 am (Updated June 23, 2021 at 7:24 am)

Finance minister says Bermuda has right to determine its own tax system

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