Monday, July 23, 2012

International Tax Authority Set Up in BVI to Deal with TIEAs


The International Tax Authority (ITA) has been established in the Ministry of Finance of the British Virgin Islands. The new unit, designated by Financial Secretary Neil Smith, will ensure the effective exchange of tax information under Tax Information Exchange Agreements signed between the BVI and a number of countries.

Responsibilities of the International Tax Authority include dealing with practical aspects of TIEA requests, negotiating TIEA agreements with potential partners, and developing the framework within the BVI territory for the effective exchange if information. 

ITA will perform the functions section 4(1) of the Mutual Legal Assistance (Tax Matters) Act, 2003 (MLA), which is said to be the base for the BVI international co-operation regime in tax matters. The MLA gives effect to the terms of the Agreements between the Government of the British Virgin Islands and the Governments of the USA and of the United Kingdom for the exchange of information in relation to tax matters, which were signed in 2002. According to the Ministry of Finance, the MLA will apply to any similar agreement that the British Virgin Islands enters into.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Premier Smith Speaks on the New White Paper Released by UK


Premier and Minister for Finance, Dr. D. Orlando Smith expressed his opinion on the new White Paper that was released on June 28 under the title 'The Overseas Territories: Security, Success and Sustainability'. The premier is pleased on the new development of relationship between the UK and its Overseas Territories. He said that the British Virgin Islands is aware of its responsibilities within the partnership, which continues to be important to the jurisdiction as an Overseas Territory.

In the statement to the House of Assembly, the Premier noted that the UK has had special relationships with many territories, and most of them have become self-governing nations, involved in global community. He said that this relationship continues to evolve as the 14 territories seek more and more independence, and within this framework it became possible to negotiate a modern new constitution for the British Virgin Islands.

Premier Smith commented on the release of the White Paper: "I welcome the new white paper and look forward to the continuing maturity of the BVI both economically and in its relationship with the United Kingdom. As a Government, we are determined to carry out our responsibility to the people of the Territory in a transparent and accountable manner...While we are aware of our responsibilities within this Partnership, we also expect that during this redefined relationship that the gains that we have made politically and constitutionally as a Territory over the past decades will continue to be improved upon."

Public consultations on the Overseas Territories strategy were held by the UK FCO from September 2011 to January 2012. The results can be found on the FCO website at http://ukoverseasterritories.readandcomment.com. The newly released White Paper can be found at http://www.fco.gov.uk/overseas-territories/white-paper.

Monday, July 02, 2012

UK Issued White Paper on Overseas Territories


Last week, White Paper was published by the UK government, aimed at renewal and strengthening of country’s relationship with its Overseas Territories. The document is entitled “The Overseas Territories: Security, Success and Sustainability”, and, according to Foreign Secretary William Hague, it is the first review of the Overseas Territories since 1999. He said that the White Paper is designed to meet the diverse challenges of the British Overseas Territories, and to set the ways how they can be supported.

The White Paper was developed by several government departments working in co-operation, and in consultations with the people and governments of the Territories, including British Virgin Islands. The goals on which the White Paper is focused are: strengthening engagement between the UK and the Territories; strengthening good governance, public financial management and economic planning in the Territories where it is necessary; and increasing the support available to the Territories.

William Hague said in his comments on publishing the White Paper: “As well as having a responsibility to ensure the security and good governance of the Territories, we want the Territories to be vibrant, flourishing communities that proudly retain aspects of their British identity.”