Tuesday, May 28, 2013

BVI Signed TIEA with Canada

Last week, the British Virgin Islands government has signed TIEA with Canada. This tax information exchange agreement became the 24th for the BVI territory, allowing for the exchange of information by request on criminal and other tax matters in accordance with the procedures.

The TIEA was signed by the BVI Premier and Minister of finance, Dr Orlando Smith, and by the High Commissioner for Canada, Gordon Campbell from the Canadian side.

The Premier Dr Orlando Smith welcomed the agreement, and also, during his speech at the signing ceremony, which coincided with the Caribbean Council Reception, stated that the British Virgin Islands is unequivocally against tax evasion, fraud, money laundering and any forms of illegal activity, and supports UK strategy and UK Prime Minister’s agenda for the G8 summit. The Premier took the opportunity to reinforce the association the BVI has with the UK and welcome the spirit of cooperation between the countries.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Premier Smith Hosting Chairman of OCTA Organisation

The chairman of the Overseas Countries and Territories Association and president of the Territorial Council of St Pierre and Miquelon St├ęphane Artano visited the territory of the British Virgin Islands, as part of the regional familiarisation mission to the Caribbean countries as the OCTA chairman. This visit to the BVI will help to enhance its relationship with the overseas countries and territories of the European Union (OCT-EU).

Premier of the British Virgin Islands Dr Orlando Smith, who hosted OCTA chairman, will assume the chairmanship of OCTA in December 2013. During his visit to the BVI, Artano had the purpose to personally familiarise himself with the BVI, as well as to inform Smith of his green growth agenda for the OCTs. Also, the director of the International Affairs Secretariat, Sylvia Moses, informed that “the OCTA chairman would like to discuss Premier Smith’s views on the revision of the Overseas Association Decision (OAD) and its programming regulations; the OCT regional funding envelope; and regional programming under the 11th European Development Fund.” 

According to Sylvia Moses, the talks between the premier of the BVI and OCTA chairman were to focus on innovation in economic and environmental policies for all overseas territories. Moses said that Artano will address common issues and interests among OCTs, including tourism, fisheries and the internet communications.

The British Virgin Islands is vice president of OCTA organisation, as well as the co-chair of the OCTA/EU Financial Services Partnership Working Party that brings together technical experts from the EU and OCTs to discuss financial services related matters.

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

BVI and Other Financial Centres Sign Up for UK Strategy to Enhance Tax Transparency

UK Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne welcomed the news that British Overseas Territories with significant financial industry sector, among them the Cayman Islands, the British Virgin Islands, Anguilla, Bermuda, Montserrat and the Turks and Caicos Islands, signed up for the UK government’s strategy on global tax transparency. This strategy will allow these financial centres to automatically share information bilaterally with the UK, and multilaterally with the G5 countries - the UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain. 

Under the agreement, much greater levels of information about bank accounts, including those held by trusts, will be exchanged, marking a turning point in the fight against tax evasion and illicit finance. The parties involved in the agreement will know the names, addresses, dates of birth, account numbers, account balances and details of payments made into those accounts. This will increase the level of international transparency and will make it much harder for people to escape paying taxes.

This year, Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron identified tax transparency as a key priority for the summit of the G8. The jurisdictions, including BVI, have also committed to take action to ensure they are at the forefront of transparency on BVI company ownership. Osborne has invited other countries to join the initiative.