BRADES – Local tax officials said they are unclear as to why Montserrat was included in last week’s blacklisting by the European Union as a tax haven.
According to Comptroller of Inland Revenue, Violette Silcott,”The basis of the criteria for ‘black listing’ is unclear and therefore we cannot identify where we on Montserrat are not in compliance.”
An EU statement said the black list was created based on the recommendations from individual EU countries. Montserrat was one of 13 Caribbean nations identified on the list of 30 countries which were not compliant and dubbed a tax haven.
The countries that have ‘black listed’ Montserrat are Bulgaria, Croatia, Estonia, France, Greece, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Portugal and Spain.
The comptroller said “except for Bulgaria all of the countries that has Montserrat on their ‘black list’ are all parties to the Multilateral Convention which is in force in their respective countries.
“Notwithstanding that Montserrat continues to be cooperative, there is no evidence of the existence of harmful tax measures and our legal framework and practices are in compliance with the Global Forum transparency and exchange of information standards. We were assessed under the Peer Review process and rated as ‘largely compliant’ by the Global Forum; the regulating body that falls under the OECD of which most EU countries are members.
“In addition, we are committed to Automatic Exchange of Information (AEOI) and is among the early adopter countries that will begin to submit reports in 2017,” Silcott noted.