Bahamas Out of Grey List

March 11, 2010 International Tax CooperationOffshore BankingOffshore TaxationTax HavensTaxation in Bahamas

2008 Bahamian Government Buildings, Nassau, BahamasThe Commonwealth of the Bahamas has signed 7 more Tax Information Exchange Agreements (TIEA), bringing its total to 18, enough to be raised from the Organization for Economic Development and Cooperation’s (OECD) Grey List of nations.

On March 10th the OECD announced that the Bahamas, a small Caribbean island nation previously regarded as a tax haven and offshore banking center, has entered into TIEAs with Denmark, Finland, Greenland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden and the Faroe Islands. Having passed the OECD threshold of 12 implemented TIEAs, the Bahamas will now be considered a nation that has substantially implemented the internationally agreed upon standards on taxation transparency. The jurisdiction is the 22nd to have made the transfer to the White List since the first OECD progress report was issued in April 2009.

Prior to the latest signing, the Bahamas held TIEA agreements with Mexico, France, Belgium, Netherlands, Argentina, China, New Zealand, the UK, San Marino, Monaco and the US. A further agreement is scheduled to be signed between the Bahamas and Spain on March 11th. On March 9th the Indian Government also stated that it expects an agreement to be completed soon with the Bahamas, with the conditions of the document already having been agreed upon by the two nations. Germany, Canada, Australia, South Africa and South Korea have also given indication that they are willing to sign TIEAs with the Bahamas in the near future. The Bahamas is also a member Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes and the Global Forum’s Peer Review Group, and will soon begin participation peer reviews of the progress made towards the implementation of the signed TIEAs.

Commenting on the progress made by the Bahamas, Jeffrey Owens, Director of the OECD’s Centre for Tax Policy and Administration, said, “Given the role that the Bahamas plays in the financial world, I am particularly pleased that they have made significant progress and they continue to expand their network of partners with whom they can exchange tax information.”

Photo by scmikeburton

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