(Bermuda Premier Craig Cannonier)
And so it continues.
Expressing its customary surprise and outrage at the territory’s inclusion in France’s latest tax haven blacklist, Bermuda has argued the following lines of defense:
- It has an existing tax information exchange agreement (TIEA) exchange with France, one of 39 bilateral transparency agreements Bermuda has, including with 90 percent of the G20 countries.
- It is also vice chair of the steering group for the OECD Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes.
- It anticipates the completion of all of its internal processes for automatic exchange of information instruments such as US and UK FATCA IGA Model 2 and the Multilateral Convention will be by the end of September 2013.
- It has stated publicly that it supports the proposed G5/EU multilateral pilot based on US FATCA and will sign-on when the multilateral exchange of information pilot is ready for adoption.
- It is recognized as complying with the highest international standards on tax transparency and compliance.
- It recently underwent a combined Phase 1 and Phase 2 OECD assessment which was very positive and determined that the Territory not only has the legislative procedures in place but has an active exchange of information regime in place with its tax treaty partners.”
Why is Bermuda surprised?
Why does it envisages that its inclusion on France’s list will be very short-lived or might never have happen if in fact that list is to be effective later than 2013?
I am certain that those of you who have read my blog are not in the least bit surprised by this and are awaiting the release of more 2013 tax haven blacklists.
Read this to understand why being ‘first in class’ provides no immunity from blacklisting: When Offshore Financial Centres Become Chronic Overachievers; the Curse of the Capable.
I hate to tell you that I told you so…but…I did!
The biggest irony is that the Philippines with none of Jersey’s Bermuda’s or BVI’s stellar credentials in transparency and international tax co-operation has been removed from France’s blacklist.
I wonder if now OFCs are beginning to understand what the OECD crafted, G20 supported global transparency and tax information exchange agenda is really about.
Time will tell.