As published on bvinews.com, Thursday January 9, 2020.
France has blacklisted the British Virgin Islands as a non-cooperative territory in tax matters.
The BVI was added to the French-speaking nation’s blacklist on Tuesday, January 7.
According to French media station Rivera Radio, France’s Minister of Economy and Finance Bruno Le Maire, listed the BVI among four new countries to which now includes a total of 13 countries.
Apart from the BVI, the other countries named were Anguilla, Bahamas and Seychelles.
In a response to the recent news, Premier Andrew Fahie in a statement released on Thursday, January 9, stated that France had overlooked the good tax cooperation between them and the BVI in their decision to add the territory to the list.
“As our treaty partner, we continue to cooperate with France on an ongoing basis to meet our treaty obligations. However, there appears to be a misunderstanding and possible miscommunication on certain matters which we are working with our French partners to resolve,” Premier Fahie stated.
“For the duration of our relationship, we have diligently followed the processes laid out in the BVI-France Tax Information Exchange Agreement (TIEA) and will continue to do so. Thus, it is unfortunate that we were included on the French list while working through French requests,” he added.
The Premier, however, said he is confident that all outstanding tax-related issues will be addressed within the BVI’s Tax Information Exchange Agreement to have the territory removed from the blacklist soon.
“The BVI is a jurisdiction that has always adhered to international standards and maintains good cooperation with jurisdictions around the world. As a leading international finance centre, our international partners can trust we will continue to do so. We will continue to diligently uphold our obligations and commitment to them, which we take very seriously,” the Premier said.
Having to change a number of tax related legislations in 2019
Since coming to office in February 2019, the VIP administration has been faced with constantly having to amend a number of legislations to keep the territory from being blacklisted by a number of international countries and agencies.
The government has had to amend the Beneficial Ownership Secure Search System (BOSSs) Act at least three separate times within the last few months and were recently made to amend the BVI Business Companies Act.