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Bahamas Removed From Eu 'Blacklist'

By RICARDO WELLS

Tribune Staff Reporter

rwells@tribunemedia.net

The Bahamas has been removed from the European Union’s “blacklist” of non-cooperative jurisdictions for tax purposes.

The country has now been moved to Annex 2, commonly referred to as the grey list, and has until the end of 2018 to fulfill its commitments, according to a statement released yesterday.

Deputy Prime Minister K Peter Turnquest, in his capacity as Minister of Finance, said the EU made its decision based on “excellent coordination” with a technical working group, assembled by the government to address the scenario.

The group consisted of Ministers and their respective technical teams, along with financial services industry partners, according to Friday’s statement.

Mr Turnquest said the Bahamas remains committed to constructive engagement with the Council of European Union Finance Ministers (ECOFIN) and the EU Code of Conduct Group’s (CoCG) technical committee to meet, or exceed, global standards of conduct and cooperation in tax matters and to the timelines set for technical compliance and legislation to affect the same.

Moreover, Mr Turnquest said the Minnis administration remains committed to the financial services industry and to the success of the Bahamian professionals who form the foundation for its continued viability.

The Bahamas was “blacklisted” by the EU on March 13 despite a last-ditch effort by Mr Turnquest and Minister of Financial Services, Trade & Industry and Immigration Brent Symonette, who travelled to Brussels to engage the CoCG and the EU Council directly.

In the wake of the move, Mr Turnquest admitted the government was, to an extent, blindsided by the EU’s decision.

At the time, he noted the government’s decision to sign onto the inclusive framework for the implementation of the Base Erosion Profit Shifting initiative with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), last December.

Mr Turnquest said this was to solidify the Bahamas’ international commitment to comply with measures to avoid the exploitation of gaps in tax rules to artificially shift profits to jurisdictions where there is low or no actual economic activity.

Yesterday's release added: "This is actually a positive signal that The Bahamas has been deemed cooperative. By the EU's own communications, the placement of The Bahamas on Annex 2 highlights that the jurisdiction has 'sufficiently demonstrated its commitment to complying with the EU and international tax standards'.”

Comments

John 1 year, 4 months ago

Has this group of gangsters ever brought sanctions against Britain, France or the USA? Can a black man join the KKK?

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sheeprunner12 1 year, 4 months ago

BOL ......... Black countries on the blacklist ...... Can white countries be on the blacklist????

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Well_mudda_take_sic 1 year, 4 months ago

Repost: Like Trump in the U.S., we should be telling the OECD to go fly a kite. The EU persists in usurping our sovereign right to determine what is in our best interest as a nation. They do this under the ill-conceived notion that they somehow have a right to bully smaller nations like ours for their own economic benefit. For the past two decades they have been bullying us to act as an enforcement arm of their own taxing authorities, but entirely at our cost. Furthermore, they have maliciously made it impossible for our offshore financial services sector to compete with their own onshore financial services sector. Bahamian taxpayers and Bahamas-based financial institutions have been saddled with outrageous costs because of the morally reprehensible motives of the OECD countries aimed at unfairly serving their interests to the detriment of our own. The OECD countries do all of this bullying under the guise of protecting the tax bases and financial systems of their own countries from money-laundering and terrorism. But that is all poppy-cock because the main OECD countries (Germany and France) are quite content to have very close economic ties and interests in common with the world's chief sponsor of money-laundering and global terrorism, namely Iran. What an utter joke! We need to start looking out for our own interests before it is too late, even if that means cozying up to a big brother like the U.S. or China. Yes indeed, it is high time the OECD be told to go fly a kite whenever it behaves like a bully with no regard whatsoever for our sovereign interests and the standard of living and quality of life of the Bahamian people. Their people are no more important than ours!

And what about all the money laundering and terrorism activities that take place daily within most OECD countries, especially Germany and France? Why should these OECD countries think they are in any way entitled to hold us to a higher standard? The world is threatened by their slackness.....not ours!

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