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OECD battle not over

Geralyn Edward

OECD battle not over

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The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) wants to be able to open Barbados’ tax files and see who is investing in the country and in what they are investing.
That was how Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler described the country’s ongoing battle to secure a clean review of its international business sector and tax information sharing status following a negative OECD Peer Review of the country.
However, Sinckler said the international business sector was too important to the economy and so Government would amend its tax laws to make them compliant with the latest OECD demands.
“The OECD in their Phase One review of Barbados concluded: “Elements crucial for achieving effective exchange of information are not yet in place.
“It is recommended that Barbados does not move to Phase Two of an assessment until it has acted on the recommendations contained in the summary of practices and recommendations to improve its legal and regulatory framework,” Sinckler said as he quoted from an OECD document.
He said that while the country was aware of tax information exchange agreements (TIEAs) that “were not worth the paper they were signed on because they had no standing in law”, they decided to pursue a network of double taxation agreements that had tax information sharing provisions.
This route, he said, “has not satisfied or enticed the OECD and the Peer Review group”.