ABIR adds to criticism of Oxfam tax haven report


The Association of Bermuda Insurers and Reinsurers (ABIR) has added to the chorus of objections to the recent report released by Oxfam about the world’s worst tax havens, with Bermuda at the top of the list for criticism.

The Government of Bermuda has already expressed its own reservations over the methodology used by the global charity.

Bradley Kading, president and executive director of ABIR, told Bermuda:Re+ILS that the Oxfam report is unusual because it focuses so heavily on the money held outside of the US by US multi-national corporations. This yet to be ‘repatriated’ income is of course a result of the unique US approach of taxing the global income of its multi-national corporations. US tax will be paid on this income when it is returned to the US and incentives to force this action could be a likely feature of the 2017 US tax reform legislation.

Kading added that the report also heavily focuses on several other elements of corporate tax regimes, something Bermuda does not have.

Kading also said that the report made mistakes in judging Bermuda’s actions on complying with international tax cooperation and transparency standards.

He said: “The government is legally bound to assist other jurisdictions with taxpayer information that will assist them in collecting taxes they believe are due. Bermuda has: an excellent track record in complying with individual requests for tax information; is party to the agreement for automatic exchanges of information; collects beneficial ownership information and shares it with UK law enforcement on 24 hours notice; and has joined the multi-lateral enforcement treaties.

“Finally, Bermuda is implementing the BEPS Country by Country reporting regime for 2016, reporting in 2017. The writers seemed to have simply either looked at old assessments or failed to contact the Bermuda government for updates on standards compliance. The report is in error and should be corrected.”

Kading concluded by saying that both the G20 and the European Union will be working on lists of jurisdictions that are deemed to be ‘non-cooperative’ on tax law disclosure and enforcement. He said that the Bermuda government was working diligently on meeting those tests and that the Bermuda community should assist the Bermuda government in moving ahead in meeting these ever-changing tests on tax transparency, anti-money laundering and beneficial ownership registries. ABIR members are committed to doing so.

ABIR, Bermuda, Brad Kading, Bermuda government, Insurance, Reinsurance, Legislation, Tax, Oxfam, North America, BEPS, European Union

Bermuda Re