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Bahamas talks tax compliance

Having signed the required number of Tax Information Exchange Agreements with OECD member nations before the March deadline, The Bahamas is now preparing for the next round of scrutiny. 

Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Bahamas financial services sector is continuing to work closely with the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) on tax compliance measures, following the signing of 22 Tax Information Exchange Agreements (TIEAs) over the last year.

The next phase of the OECD’s monitoring of tax practices in offshore jurisdictions is now in full swing, with delegates from the Peer Review Group (PRG) of the OECD’s Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes attending a meeting in Nassau last month to discuss transparency and the exchange of information relating to tax matters.

The PRG was created in September 2009 and, in March the following year, was charged with monitoring and assisting member countries in their tax compliance efforts. The first stage of this assessment process will involve 18 jurisdictions including Bermuda, the Cayman Islands and Ireland. The Bahamas is being assessed over a three-year period, which started in July this year and ends in July 2012.

Rowena Bethel, the Ministry of Finance’s legal advisor and The Bahamas’ representative at the OECD Global Forum, said: “The Bahamas provided an assessor for the first tranche of reviews demonstrating its commitment to make an effective contribution to the work of the Global Forum.

“The tremendous efforts of all participating jurisdictions to apply the internationally agreed standards through the negotiation of tax information sharing arrangements, and the effective implementation of those arrangements, should be recognized as an important achievement by the international community.”

Head of the Secretariat of the Global Forum Pascal Saint-Amas addressed representatives from The Bahamas’ financial services sector during the Nassau meeting, saying: “We have had a very important meeting and, for the first time in the history of the work, we have a conclusive process resulting in the adopting of reports that have been agreed by everybody.”

The results of the PGR’s meeting will be submitted to the Global Forum next month and the next PGR gathering will take place in Paris in December 2010.

Preliminary statistics released by the Bahamas Hotel Association and the Ministry of Tourism show an uptick in visitor arrivals for the early part of the low season.

Guy Harvey Outpost Resort & Marina has redeveloped the world-famous Bimini Big Game Club in an attempt to recapture the sportfishing Mecca's former glories.

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