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Barbados off tax haven list

Shawn Cumberbatch

Barbados off tax haven list

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Colombia has reversed its decision to blacklist Barbados.

A year ago Colombia branded Barbados, Bermuda, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Kuwait, Qatar, Guernsey, and Panama as “tax havens” and said they would be assigned this label if they failed to “enter into an agreement or convention for the exchange of tax information” with that country.

However, on October 22, Colombia’s Ministry of Treasury and Public Credit issued a new decree and announced the modification of its “tax haven list” including the removal of Barbados, Panama, UAE, and Monaco.

Reacting to the news last week in a “global tax alert”, Ernst & Young, Colombia, said: “Barbados and UAE were removed from the list because they signed a tax information exchange agreement with Colombia. On October 21, Colombia and Panama signed a memorandum of understanding to cooperate on the exchange of tax information and money laundering matters.

“Colombia removed . . . Monaco from the list because it agreed to the Multilateral Convention of Mutual Assistance in Tax Matters.”

Other regional countries remaining on the black list included Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Dominica, Guyana, Grenada, Trinidad and Tobago, St Vincent and the Grenadines, St Kitts & Nevis, and St Lucia.

In its own commentary on the issue, KPMG Colombia recalled that 44 jurisdictions were initially listed as tax havens when the Colombian list was first issued last year and that the group including Barbados was given a year to get exchange agreements in place.

Barbados has identified Colombia among several countries in Latin America where it thinks there is an opportunity for increased international business and financial services sector development. The issue was discussed at the recent International Business Week Conference which included delegates from Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Mexico and Panama.