22 August 2017News

Bermuda welcomes Global Forum announcement on tax practices

The Government of Bermuda has welcomed the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes (the Global Forum)’s announcement that the Island is ‘largely compliant’ with its tax information exchange practices with other jurisdictions.

According to the Global Forum Bermuda was among the countries screened under a new and enhanced peer review process aimed at assessing compliance with international standards for the exchange of information on request between tax authorities.

The organisation has now announced that Bermuda, Canada, Australia, Cayman Islands, Germany and Qatar were deemed to be "largely compliant", while three jurisdictions - Ireland, Mauritius and Norway - were "compliant".

The 144-member Global Forum is a leading international body for ensuring the implementation of the internationally agreed standards of transparency and tax information exchange and is a part of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

A new round of peer reviews were launched in mid-2016 and followed a six-year process during which the Global Forum assessed the legal and regulatory framework for information exchange as well as the actual practices and procedures in 119 jurisdictions worldwide.

Bermuda’s Premier and Minister of Finance the Hon. David Burt JP MP responded to the announcement by thanking Bermuda government officials who have worked hard to make this a reality.

Premier Burt said, "This is tremendous news and excellent for Bermuda. My thanks to all involved in securing this important outcome.

"This result is a testament to the hard work of the team in the Ministry of Finance. With an impending European Union blacklist on the horizon, this was one of the important tests that Bermuda had to pass.

"It is good news for local industry, boosting confidence in Bermuda as an international business centre. A bad rating would have most certainly guaranteed Bermuda to be blacklisted by the EU, and it is through Bermuda's commitment to compliance that we can avoid such a result."

Global Forum members are working together to monitor and review implementation of the international standard for the automatic exchange of financial account information, under the Common Reporting Standard (CRS), which will start in September 2017. The monitoring and review process is intended to ensure the effective and timely delivery of commitments made, the confidentiality of information exchanged and to identify areas where support is needed.