NASSAU, BAHAMAS – Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Peter Turnquest on Wednesday tabled a compendium of bills designed to keep the Bahamas off the European Union’s blacklist.
Turnquest said this action brings the Bahamas in full compliance with the EU’s tax standards and will hopefully ensure the Bahamas remains off the blacklist when the international body meets at the end of January.
In March, The Bahamas was placed on a list of non-cooperative jurisdictions for tax purposes and was moved to Annex 2, commonly referred to as the grey list.
The country was then given a December 31 deadline to become tax compliant.
Turnquest said with yesterday’s laying of these bills The Bahamas has deflected being blacklisted again.
Seven other jurisdictions remain on the blacklist including Namibia, Palau, Samoa, Trinidad and Tobago and the three United States’ territories of American Samoa, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
After several revelations of widespread tax-avoidance schemes used by corporations and wealthy individuals to lower tax bills, the EU blacklist was set up in December of last year.
Blacklisted jurisdictions could face reputational damage and stricter controls on their financial transactions with the EU, although no sanctions have been agreed by EU states yet.
According to EU officials, countries on the grey list could be moved to the blacklist if they do not honor their commitments.