Wednesday, December 30, 2009

BVI Territory Signs TIEA wil Ireland and China

December 7. The British Virgin Islands signed tax information exchange agreement with Ireland. The TIEA is based on a model agreement developed by the OECD, and will allow the British Virgin Islands to send requests to the Revenue Commissioners to obtain and provide information needed in the course of its tax investigations. Also, after this document is signed, the Revenue Commissioners from Ireland may request information from their counterpart in the British Virgin Islands.

The information relevant to Ireland's tax investigation issues in most cases would concern the bank accounts or the beneficial ownership of companies or trusts.

Another TIEA was concluded between the BVI and China, signed by BVI Premier and Minister of Finance, Ralph O’Neal and Chinese Deputy Commissioner of the State Administration of Taxation, Qian Guanlin.

In his statement after signing the agreements, O'Neal remarked that they were a significant milestone in relations between the Governments of the British Virgin Islands, China and Ireland, and expressed the commitment to examine other areas of mutual co-operation and benefit.

Previous TIEA was concluded by the BVI with the Kingdom of Netherlands in September 2009. With signing of these two agreements, total number of tax exchange agreements signed by the BVI Territory reached 17.

Friday, December 18, 2009

BVI and Channel Islands accept Britain's businessmen

Daily Telegraph informed that the UK businessmen and financiers re-register their companies businesses outside the country in order to avoid 50 per cent income tax rate. Many British companies have registered in the Channel Islands offshore jurisdictions like Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man. The British Virgin Islands are among the tax havens where number of registered UK companies has increased in the last year.

There are now 6, 729 UK company directors in the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man, and 615 in the British overseas territory, BVI. Among those company directors there are bankers, hedge fund managers and the owners of health care companies, property firms and luxury travel firms. Some of them consider that the UK tax model is broken, and the 50 per cent rate has become the last straw for them. Now about 10 Britain's entrepreneurs per week are leaving the UK mainly for the three Crown Dependencies and for the BVI.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

BVI Premier Attended Eleventh OTCC Meeting

On December 9, the Overseas Territories Minister at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in the UK Chris Bryant hosted the eleventh meeting of the Overseas Territories Consultative Council (OTCC) in London. The meeting was attended by Premiers, Chief Ministers and other representatives of the UK Overseas Territories - Anguilla, Ascension, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Falkland Islands, Montserrat, Pitcairn, St Helena, Tristan da Cunha, Turks and Caicos Islands. The BVI Territory was represented by Premier Hon. Ralph O'Neal.

This was the first OTCC meeting hosted by Mr. Bryant, who followed Gillian Merron in the post of Foreign Office Minister. In his statement after the Consultative Council, Christ Bryant said that members of the meeting covered a lot of issues over the 7-9 December, during the discussions that were wide-ranging, open and constructive.

On Monday 7 December, Mr. Bryant met leaders from five Caribbean British Overseas Territories - Anguilla, British Virgin Islands, Bermuda, Cayman Islands and Montserrat. The discussion was focused on the extent and nature of the UK government's liabilities in the Caribbean Overseas Territories and their role in managing them.

Also, at the request of the Territories' leaders, on 8 December - the day before the Consultative Council - a Forum was held to review the 1999 Government White Paper “Partnership for Progress and Prosperity - Britain and the Overseas Territories”. The White Paper established the principles that have guided the relationship between the UK and Territories since 1999, and the Forum became the first stage of a consultation process on the future of the UK/OT relationship.