Bahamas to come off blacklist

Bahamas to come off blacklist
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, K. Peter Turnquest.

The European Union (EU) Code of Conduct Group (COCG) has officially recommended the Bahamas’ removal from the list of non-cooperative jurisdictions for tax purposes, otherwise known as the ‘black list’, according to a statement issued by the Ministry of Finance Tuesday evening.

The Bahamas Government received the notification in writing from the COCG’s Secretariat, the statement said.

“At its meeting on April 12, 2018, Member States’ delegations agreed to recommend the decision to the European Union Economic and Financial Affairs Council (ECOFIN), which is responsible for making the decision official,” the statement read.

“Based on communications from the Secretariat, the (Bahamas) government expects the ECOFIN Council to take up the recommendation without discussion by their next meeting on May 25, 2018. This outcome is the culmination of on-going discussions between the Code of Conduct Group and the Ministry of Finance.”

The Bahamas was added to the black list on March 13 after the country was “deemed to facilitate tax havens”.

Since then, Acting Prime Minister Peter Turnquest has said that the government had done all it can to have the country removed from the listing and restore the country’s reputation.

“The Bahamas will continue to uphold international regulatory standards and best practices on matters that affect its economic development and financial well-being, and safeguard the jurisdiction’s reputation and competitiveness as a premier international financial center,” according to the statement.

“We will continue to engage in collaborative and proactive dialogue with the Code of Conduct Group and member states and look forward to the harmonization of our mutual interests.”