HAMILTON, Bermuda, Mar 12, CMC – Premier David Burt Tuesday said he remains “confident” that Bermuda will soon be taken off the European Union’s (EU) new list of non-co-operative jurisdictions for tax purposes.
He described the island’s inclusion on the list as a “setback,” saying that, while the decision to adopt Tuesday’s revised list was approved by all EU member states, a significant reservation had been expressed by the United Kingdom government.
The European Union named five Caribbean countries on the new list of non-cooperative tax jurisdictions which it said had been based on an “an intense process of analysis and dialogue steered by the Commission”.
The EU Finance Ministers said that based on the Commission’s screening, they have blacklisted a total of 15 countries including Barbados, Dominica, Aruba and Belize and Trinidad and Tobago.
The British representative had stated that “the UK agreement to the Council Conclusions on the revised EU list of non-co-operative jurisdictions for tax purposes is on the basis that as set out in the conclusions, jurisdictions should be removed as soon as possible after they have demonstrated they are compliant.
“The UK notes that Bermuda has legislated to address the issue identified. In light of this we expect Bermuda, and other compliant jurisdictions, to be removed from the list at the next available opportunity,” the British representative added.
But Burt said that the next meeting is scheduled for May “and in the short interim period we will continue to make sure member states are clear that Bermuda is compliant and that our legislation is fully in force and is being implemented.
“It is important to recognise that we do not anticipate any sanctions against Bermuda as a jurisdiction and there will be no impact on any rights of travel or otherwise that Bermudians currently enjoy. This listing is for tax purposes only.”
Finance Minister Curtis Dickinson, who is due to address the issue later on Tuesday, said ‘Berrmuda’s compliance with the EU requirements around economic substance is a matter of record and has been acknowledged by the UK Treasury and confirmed to member states.
“In the coming days and weeks we will continue to work with industry partners to assure Bermuda businesses and investors that we will be removed from this list at the earliest opportunity,” he said, adding “Bermuda remains a well-regulated jurisdiction that has met every international standard over many years.”