Friday, April 29, 2016

BVI Published Information on Beneficial Ownership Agreement with UK

BVI has published the notes and technical protocols related to the exchange of information on beneficial ownership of companies agreed with the United Kingdom. According to this agreement, the countries agreed to share beneficial ownership information, and also committed to ensuring relevancy, accuracy and security of this information.

In the British Virgin Islands, this information is to be held through the electronic portal which will be accessed by BVI authorities only. On request, it will be shared with UK law enforcement agencies. The BVI law enforcement authorities will be able to request from UK law enforcement all of its non-public information on beneficial ownership.

By words of BVI Premier Dr Orlando Smith, the agreement with UK will “further enhance the BVI regime which already surpasses that of many other jurisdictions in the world. It will also ensure that in order to protect our business and the interests of BVI, when it comes to transparency and information exchange, BVI’s rules and regulations are totally fit for purpose.”

Monday, April 18, 2016

BVI Meets International Standards on Beneficial Ownership

On 11 April, British Prime Minister David Cameron made the statement in the House of Commons, having commended the BVI and other Overseas Crown Dependencies for enhancing co-operation with the United Kingdom, especially in the areas related to beneficial ownership and international exchange of tax information. The statement was welcomed by BVI Premier and Minister of Finance Dr Orlando Smith as reinforcing the BVI’s long-standing commitment to international standards on tax and transparency and to maintaining its robust regulatory regime.

A week earlier, the UK and the jurisdiction agreed to sign an exchange of notes on beneficial ownership between the countries, setting their mutual commitment to exchange beneficial ownership information between law enforcement agencies for the detection and prevention of criminal matters. This agreement may be considered as complementary to BVI’s good standing in meeting international commitments on tax, transparency and anti-corruption under Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and the United Nations (UN).

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

BVI Faces Consequences of ‘Panama Papers’ Leak

BVI authorities said that the leak of confidential data from the Panama law firm Mossack Fonseca specializing in offshore financial services, which included about 11 million documents, prompted them to look for any breaches of financial regulations in the Caribbean territory. BVI-registered companies play the most important role in the leaked records, the same way as BVI takes its prominent place in the global offshore financial industry.

BVI financial regulating services have issued a statement where they say that they will ‘pursue a thorough investigation through the BVI's competent authorities, and further action will be taken, where necessary’.

Last year, there were 9,388 company incorporations in the BVI, down from 11,436 the previous year. The BVI is said to have ‘rigorous’ regulatory oversight of its financial sector and adhere to international standards.

Thursday, April 07, 2016

Statutory Deadlines Extended for BVI Financial Institutions

The BVI Financial Account Reporting System will be ready to accept UK CDOT or UK FATCA filings by May 2, 2016. BVI Financial Institutions have been informed of this fact, and they can submit their reports to the International Tax Authority as of this date and no later than the extended dates which are as follows: the statutory deadline for registration with the Tax Authority is extended from April 1 to June 10, and the statutory deadline to submit 2014 and 2015 reportable accounts to the ITA is extended from May 31 to July 29.

The extended deadlines relate only to reportable accounts submitted via BVI Financial Account Reporting System. Concerning the Alternative Reporting Regime (ARR) under UK CDOT and UK FATCA, the original statutory deadline remains the same.