?The British Government was not attempting to pass “judgement” on Barbados when it classified the island as a Category 3 country for its perceived inability to meet international standards on the exchange of tax information.
Rather, British High Commissioner to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean Paul Brummell yesterday told the MIDWEEK NATION the categorization by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) was “a reflection of the current position” regarding Barbados’ status on information sharing.
“We recognize that Barbados will be disappointed,” he said, but noted that a team from HMRC would visit the island in May.
This is in an effort to bring the double taxation treaty up to date and to modernize the system for the exchange of tax information.
He said this was being done with the aim of moving Barbados into a higher category.
Last?Monday, Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs Chris Sinckler said the categorisation was a “premature and entirely unnecessary rush to judgement by the British tax authorities”.
He said the move placed Barbados in a group of countries which included some of the world’s most uncooperative tax havens.
“And this irrespective of the fact that we were engaged in talks with the British government to set dates for the renegotiation of our longstanding double taxation treaty,” he said.
Sinckler said he planned to write to the Chancellor of the Exchequer (Minister of Finance) in the Britain outlining Barbados’ disappointment.
He said noted that at a technical level Barbados remained a well regulated, very transparent and highly flexible jurisdiction that allowed for cooperation at all levels with the international community.