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Not out of the woods

marciadottin, [email protected]

Not out of the woods

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A Barbadian international treaty negotiator who once headed Government’s international business division is warning that the threat against low-tax jurisdictions like Barbados is not over.
Françoise Hendy, who is an attorney at law, said the island needed to take “deliberate, decisive and determined execution of agreed action” as it tried to protect its livelihood in this and other economic areas.
The former director of international business is predicting that this year there will be “more coordinated and decisive action against low-tax jurisdictions considered to be tax havens and blacklisted as such by the European Union and its members”.
“In practice this will mean that the EU will demand that its international partners – including its tax-treaty partners – respect the same minimum standards of good governance in taxation as is required in the EU,” she said in a new analysis on the issue.
Hendy noted a number of recommendations that would inform “this new thrust”, pointing to a repackaging of “the concept of ‘harmful taxation’ as ‘fair taxation’ to recapture taxes and tax bases from competitive low-tax jurisdictions”.
    This was in addition to “the adoption of new assessment criteria by the OECD Global Forum based on the introduction of a global automatic exchange of tax information standard”, “the systematic review or termination of existing tax treaties found to encourage double non-taxation”, “the introduction of supplementary disclosure requirements for EU economic operators involved with tax havens, however ultimately defined by the EU”.
    Hendy also cautioned that “tax-treaty negotiation is increasingly going to depend less on levering the global ‘on request’ standard for exchanging confidential tax-payer information managed by the OECD on behalf of the G20; and which Barbados has used with great success over the past five years”.
“Instead, Barbados’ sustained tax treaty expansion programme will rely more on direct political contact and context.”