Finance Minister Curtis Dickinson, will hold a news conference later today to provide an update on the European Union’s list on non-cooperative tax jurisdictions, which now includes Bermuda.
The conference will be held at the Cabinet Building at 2pm this afternoon.
Meanwhile both the Minister and Premier David Burt issued a joint statement, which was released just before noon today, in response to Bermuda being added to the European Union’s list on non-cooperative tax jurisdictions.
Premier Burt stated outright that: “This is a setback but we are confident that Bermuda will soon be removed from this list of non-cooperative jurisdictions for tax purposes.”
This after “the news emanating from today’s ECOFIN meeting in Brussels”.
The Premier advised that although the decision to adopt today’s revised list was approved by all Member States, a significant reservation was expressed by the UK Government whose representative stated for the record:
“The UK agreement to the Council Conclusions on the revised EU list of non-cooperative jurisdictions for tax purposes is on the basis that as set out in the Conclusions, jurisdictions should be removed as soon as possible after they have demonstrated they are compliant.
“The UK notes that Bermuda has legislated to address the issue identified. In light of this we expect Bermuda, and other compliant jurisdictions, to be removed from the list at the next available opportunity.”
The Premier continued: “The next meeting is in May and in the short interim period we will continue to make sure Member States are clear that Bermuda is compliant and that our legislation is fully in force and is being implemented. It is important to recognize that we do not anticipate any sanctions as against Bermuda as a jurisdiction and there will be no impact on any rights of travel or otherwise that Bermudians currently enjoy. This listing is for tax purposes only.”
Finance Minister Curtis Dickinson will address the issues at the news conference this afternoon.
But in advance of that said: “Bermuda’s compliance with the EU requirements around economic substance is a matter of record and has been acknowledged by the UK Treasury and confirmed to Member States. In the coming days and weeks we will continue to work with industry partners to assure Bermuda businesses and investors that we will be removed from this list at the earliest opportunity. Bermuda remains a well regulated jurisdiction that has met every international standard over many years.”
The EU also added Aruba, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Fiji, Marshall Islands, Oman, United Arab Emirates, Vanuatu to the list of ‘non-cooperative jurisdictions. There are now 15 jurisdictions on the list.
In their announcement, the EU stated: “Bermuda facilitates offshore structures and arrangements aimed at attracting profits without real economic substance and has not yet resolved this issue.”
Mr Burt said this morning in the lead up to the news conference at 2pm this afternoon, that he was “confident that Bermuda would soon bee struck from the European Union’s list of non-cooperative jurisdictions for tax purposes.