(BN Americas) -- The finance ministry in The Bahamas said it met a September 30 deadline to implement automatic tax information exchange (AEOI) with some 35 partner jurisdictions.
The action marks a significant step forward to the government's efforts against money laundering and terrorism financing as it works to comply with the guidelines of the OECD's Common Reporting Standard (CRS).
"As we look holistically at the global tax landscape, The Bahamas continues to enhance its competitiveness by implementing best practices for the promotion of transparency," said finance minister K. Peter Turnquest as reported by local news outlet Tribune. "This is also part of the ongoing work to safeguard the financial sector from external threats such as blacklistings."
The Bahamas was removed from the EU's blacklist of non-cooperative tax jurisdictions in May, amid coordinated efforts to move towards international tax reporting standards and better transparency.
In December 2017, the government amended its exchange of financial account information act, issuing guidance notes on December 29, 2017, which cleared the way for AEOI to come into effect on September 30.
"To support this work, the Government has also undertaken an extremely aggressive legislative agenda. Just in the past year, we achieved major reforms to strengthen the Bahamian position to combat money laundering and the threat of terrorism financing," said Turnquest. "And our legislative docket is currently packed for the rest of the year with additional financial sector legislation to enhance our global positioning as a well-regulated offshore financial center."
The Bahamas first participated in automatic tax information exchange in 2015 with the US, after the latter implemented its Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA). FATCA also has an end-September reporting deadline, which The Bahamas has successfully met every year.
FATCA has helped The Bahamas meet the demands of the OECD's CRS standard, which now requires it to exchange tax information automatically with multiple jurisdictions - not just the US.