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Dickinson takes Biden to task over tax haven claims

US President Joe Biden addresses a joint session of Congress, where he referred to Bermuda as a tax haven (Melina Mara/The Washington Post)

US president Joe Biden’s branding of Bermuda as a tax haven was “unfortunate as much as it was untrue”, the finance minister has said.

Mr Biden has mentioned the island’s status as a low tax jurisdiction several times since he took office earlier this year.

But Curtis Dickinson said in the wake of Mr Biden’s latest comments about the island to Congress in April that Bermuda was "actively involved in discussions relating to tax and other related matters, either as part of the relevant global meetings or through bilateral communication with foreign government and public officials”.

But Mr Dickinson declined to comment on Monday on whether the island was examining any type of corporate tax.

He said: “We are not talking about tax. Our system that we have today we believe works well for us.”

Mr Dickinson added: “We continue to do the work around advocacy in Bermuda, talking about what we are.

“That work has been ongoing from the day I stepped into this office and has been ongoing with each of my predecessors.”

Mr Dickinson said: “We occupy a very unique spot in this world and the global financial system.

“We punch much, much higher than our weight class and that sometimes draws attention from people who do not understand the model.

“But it’s one built around transparency and compliance and co-operation.”

The Biden administration has also proposed a global minimum tax rate – a subject debated in the UK House of Commons on Monday.

Britain’s Tory government did not support the move – which led James Murray, the Labour Party Opposition Whip, to accuse the British Government of “backing Bermuda” when there was a “once-in-a-generation opportunity for a global deal on tax avoidance”.

MPs in Britain debated carrying out a review of “the impact on corporation tax revenues for the financial years 2022 and 2023 of a global minimum rate of corporation tax”, with the options of 21 per cent in both years or 21 per cent in 2022, rising to 25 per cent in 2023.

But the proposal was voted down by 364 to 261.

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Published May 26, 2021 at 7:56 am (Updated May 26, 2021 at 7:36 am)

Dickinson takes Biden to task over tax haven claims

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