Above: Bridgetown (CJ Photo)
By the Caribbean Journal staff
Barbados has signaled its intention to the United States of concluding a reciprocal Inter-Governmental Agreement to apply to the US’ Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, Prime Minister Freundel Stuart said Thursday.
The Prime Minister said Barbados was “aware that an atmosphere of certainty was needed for domestic and international operators in our banking sector and other entities which met the criteria of foreign financial institutions under FATCA to thrive.”
“I look forward, therefore, to being able in the coming weeks to announce formally that the US is favourably disposed to negotiating a reciprocal Model 1 inter-governmental agreement with us,” he said. “And from our end, we will be working towards concluding agreement by year-end.”
The law requires the automatic exchange of US taxpayers’ foreign banking information. That places it in the same policy space as exchanges under the OECD, he said.
“It would, therefore, be inconsistent with and contrary to our own national interest to indicate a willingness to automatically exchange information with the US and not with the parties to the OECD Convention,” Stuart said. “It would seem self-defeating deliberately to attract ‘body blows’ to our business brand at this time, when we know that little can be gained by dallying on this matter.”
“Greater gain,” he said, “can surely be had by moving quickly onto the substantial matters like implementation timeframes and questions about who will bear the costs of the automatic exchanges, regardless of the legal instrument used. It is often the case that it is not what you do but how and when you do it.”