Photo Credit: BVI Platinum News
Following months of trepidation as to whether the Territory would be blacklisted by the European Union (EU), Premier, and Minister of Finance, Hon. Andrew Fahie today, March 12, announced that the BVI has been listed as tax complaint by the EU, and as such will not be blacklisted.
He made this announcement during the sitting of the House of Assembly (HoA).
Addressing the large number of persons during the sitting, Hon. Fahie related, “I am pleased to report to you that the European Union has announced today, that it recognises the BVI as compliant with its fair taxation principles as well as being a cooperative jurisdiction.”
He later added, “The EU has said that the BVI will not be placed on the blacklist of non-cooperative jurisdictions for tax purposes.”
This comes as a result of the recent passage of new Economic Substance legislation during the last sitting of the HoA.
“The BVI has been working closely with the European Union to meet its requirements regarding its fair taxation. This milestone has been achieved due to the hard work and tireless efforts of the previous Government and your new Government,” Hon. Fahie stated.
Noting that this outcome is not surprising to him, the Minister of Finance said, “The BVI has always been a jurisdiction that keeps pace with international standards. We have also cooperated closely with the EU,” adding that a trip to the United Kingdom to iron out other details in connection to the financial services sector will be coming.
“We will also improve our relation with the FCO (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) and the UK United Kingdom) Government over all who continue to assist the Virgin Islands in many respects, especially in the Financial Services Sector,” he added.
Meanwhile, responding to the announcement, Chief Executive Officer of BVI Finance Elise Donovan, said “We welcome the EU’s recognition of the BVI as a cooperative jurisdiction. We have always had substance and will take steps to add further substance following the passage of the Economic Substance (Companies and Limited Partnerships) Act, 2018.”
“BVI Finance will continue to work to cement our position as one of the world’s preeminent destinations for enabling international trade, business and investment thanks to our skills, expertise and strength of proposition,” she stated in a public missive.
The BVI was grey-listed due to a perceived lack of tax transparency in the Territory.
The previous Dr. Orlando Smith-led Administration had pledged to and implemented the necessary legislation so as to allay concerns of the EU as it relates to tax transparency, fair taxation, base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS) in the territory.