Bermuda has won world approval of its tax information exchange practices with other jurisdictions.
A global body said today that those practices comply with international standards.
Premier and Minister of Finance the Hon. David Burt JP MP responded to the announcement by thanking Bermuda government officials who have worked hard to make this a reality.
The Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes (the Global Forum) said that Bermuda was among the countries screened under a new and enhanced peer review process aimed at assessing compliance with international standards for the exchange of information on request between tax authorities.
Bermuda, Canada, Australia, Cayman Islands, Germany and Qatar were deemed to be "largely compliant", while three jurisdictions - Ireland, Mauritius and Norway - were "compliant".
The new round of peer reviews - launched in mid-2016 - followed a six-year process during which the Global Forum assessed the legal and regulatory framework for information exchange (Phase 1) as well as the actual practices and procedures (Phase 2) in 119 jurisdictions worldwide.
Today's result means that Bermuda maintains the rating obtained through Phase 1 as a jurisdiction largely compliant.
Premier Burt said, "This is tremendous news and excellent for Bermuda. My thanks to all involved in securing this important outcome.
"This result is a testament to the hard work of the team in the Ministry of Finance.
"With an impending European Union blacklist on the horizon, this was one of the important tests that Bermuda had to pass.
"It is good news for local industry, boosting confidence in Bermuda as an international business centre. A bad rating would have most certainly guaranteed Bermuda to be blacklisted by the EU, and it is through Bermuda's commitment to compliance that we can avoid such a result."
The 144-member Global Forum is a leading international body for ensuring the implementation of the internationally agreed standards of transparency and tax information exchange.
The Global Forum's new peer review process combines the Phase 1 and Phase 2 elements into a single undertaking, with new focus on an assessment of the availability of, and access by, tax authorities to beneficial ownership information of all legal entities and arrangements, in line with the Financial Action Task Force international standard.
Global Forum members are working together to monitor and review implementation of the international standard for the automatic exchange of financial account information, under the Common Reporting Standard (CRS), which will start in September 2017. The monitoring and review process is intended to ensure the effective and timely delivery of commitments made, the confidentiality of information exchanged and to identify areas where support is needed.
The Global Forum is the continuation of a forum which was created in the early 2000s in the context of the OECD's work to address the risks to tax compliance posed by non-cooperative jurisdictions. The original members of the Global Forum consisted of OECD countries and jurisdictions that had agreed to implement transparency and exchange of information for tax purposes. The Global Forum was restructured in September 2009 in response to the G20 call to strengthen implementation of these standards.
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