1 July 2015News

Latvia confirms Bermuda removed from blacklist

Latvia has confirmed that it has removed Bermuda from its domestic list of countries of non-cooperative tax jurisdictions.

Recently, the European Commission (EC) included Bermuda as one of 30 jurisdictions on a blacklist, which consolidates national tax ‘blacklists’ as they stood six months ago and includes any jurisdiction on the lists of ten or more Member States.

Latvia is the second European country, after Poland, to confirm that Bermuda is not on their blacklist. It has also written to the EC to set the record straight.

Latvia joined the Multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance on Tax Matters May 29, 2013. When the Convention came into force for Latvia last November, Bermuda and a number of other co-signatories automatically fell off their blacklist.

The Deputy Premier and Minister of Finance, Bob Richards, said that diplomatic efforts continue to have Bermuda removed from the EC’s master blacklist.

He added that although the number of countries targeting Bermuda is now down from eleven to nine with the recent announcements, he believes Bermuda’s name should be removed from the all European blacklists immediately.

Richards said: “There was some indication that the list might be revised by the end of the year. But we see no reason why an administrative decision in our favour couldn’t be made immediately. We have consistently done the right thing.

“I am grateful that Latvia and Poland have acted quickly to correct the mistake and we hope other countries will follow suit. As I have indicated before, considering Bermuda’s outstanding record of signing agreements with a large number of countries, it is extraordinary that we would be labelled by the EC as ‘uncooperative’.

“Bermuda has signed tax information exchange agreements with countries around the world together with a multilateral Tax Convention, adding up to over 80 treaty partners. This is today’s international standard for tax cooperation and information exchange.”