UK Revenue and Customs to Upgrade Barbados' Tax Transparency Status due to new Legislation

By Invest Barbados, PRNE
Thursday, May 5, 2011

British Government Believes OECD Global Forum Should Review Barbados Tax Information-Exchange Finding as Soon as Possible

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, May 6, 2011 - The British Government has advised the Government of Barbados that it
will upgrade that country's status with respect to the UK's legislation on
offshore non-compliance by U.K taxpayers.

Barbados has been notified that Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs will
promote Barbados to Category 2 status when a revised UK Statutory Instrument
is made in a few months' time.

This significant upgrade of Barbados from Category 3 status was a direct
result of its 2011 Income Tax (Exchange of Information) Regulations which
provides for the unilateral exchange of tax information according to the 2008
OECD standard with Barbados' new and existing tax treaty partners, including
the UK, who are now unable to exchange tax information consistent with
international standards.

The British Government has also signaled its support for a revised OECD
Global Forum Phase I report on Barbados' transparency and tax information
exchange credentials based on the 2011 regulations noting that "there is a
strong case for a supplementary report to be presented [by Barbados] to the
Peer Review Group of the Global Forum on the Transparency and Exchange of
Information for Tax Purposes as soon as possible."

The Global Forum is the multilateral framework for dealing with issues of
transparency and exchange of information by both OECD and non-OECD economies.
In order to carry out in-depth monitoring and review of implementation of
OECD tax standards, the Global Forum has established a Peer Review Group

"This swift and decisive response by the British Government is most
welcome, and underscores the long history of tax cooperation our countries
have enjoyed since 1970 when the Barbados-UK tax treaty came into force,"
said Prime Minister Freundel Stuart.

The Prime Minister noted that like the OECD Global Forum, Barbados
believes information exchange should be grounded in the provisions of a
bilateral agreement and is pleased that during the week of May 16, this year,
a protocol to our tax treaty with the UK will be negotiated to update, among
other things, the existing provision on exchange of information.

In its Phase I report, the PRG cited Barbados' inability to exchange tax
information with relevant partners because existing treaties, although
providing for information exchange, did not contain the 2008 standard and new
treaties reflecting the standard had not yet been ratified. The PRG did
however acknowledge that Barbados had done all within its power to update
existing treaties and to bring its new treaties into force but nonetheless
determined that Barbados would not be eligible for a Phase II evaluation of
its administrative policies and practices supporting tax information for 12

"Barbados has already informed the OECD Global Forum of the 2011 Income
Tax Regulations and our intention to request a supplementary report on our
legal and regulatory transparency and tax information exchange regime based
on these regulations once the Forum adopts its draft revised methodology to
provide for supplementary reporting," said Prime Minister Stuart.

The Prime Minister reiterated his Government's disappointment with the
Global Forum's Phase I findings noting the highly prejudicial consequences of
the PRG's determination that Barbados was not eligible for advancement to a
Phase II evaluation. "The assessment was particularly egregious given that
the OECD itself has since 2002 endorsed Barbados as a transparent
jurisdiction that has never relied on secrecy to attract investment. A policy
demonstrated by our long history of codifying international transparency and
information exchange norms through our aggressive and longstanding policy of
tax treaty negotiation. This settled policy again received endorsement in
2009 by the G-20 and the OECD when Barbados found itself the only independent
Caribbean country on their "white-list" of jurisdictions found to be in
substantial compliance with international standard on transparency and tax
information exchange. Indeed, this explains the currency of our standing
despite the Phase I conclusion", stated Prime Minister Stuart.

"We look forward, now, to working with our partners in the Global Forum
and the United National Expert Committee on International Tax and call for
the speedy adoption of the OECD Global Forum's revised methodology to secure
an outcome that serves the best interests of the people of Barbados and the
wider international community."

About Invest Barbados

Invest Barbados (IB) is an economic development agency of the Government
of Barbados. IB is responsible for attracting, winning and sustaining
investment for Barbados. The agency is also responsible for promoting the
export of indigenous services and goods while managing and developing the
Barbados business brand.

    For further information:

    For more information or to arrange for an interview with a spokesperson
    for Invest Barbados, please contact:

    Heather McElrath
    Mansfield Communications
    45 Rockefeller Plaza, Suite 2042
    New York, NY 10111


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