The Bahamas is set to be added to the European Union’s blacklist of countries uncooperative in tax matters.
Attorney General, Sen. the Hon. Ryan Pinder was asked for a response by members of the media on this issue. Sen. Pinder said that the government is working to address the issue and that the problem was inherited from the former administration. He pointed to the enactment of the Commercial Enterprise Substance Act in 2019. Sen. Pinder said, “this is a FNM administration piece of legislation, they brought it. I was on the committee in the beginning but I think they brought politics to financial services which is, you know, usually unconventional, but we saw that with their recent press release. They’ve taken a rather unconventional approach to finance services in the country and then they immediately stopped inviting me to those meetings. With respect to the actual implementation that the FNM administration did, clearly it was fundamentally flawed. It was in a state where it was non compliant clearly, they had three and a half years to put in place a compliant regime of economic substance reporting and failed to do it. And they really should be ashamed of themselves now trying to make this issue political since its squarely on their feet.”
The Attorney General assures that this administration will address the issue stating, “we were notified of the non-compliance late last year. We gave our assurances that we would try to work with the EU. Clearly with a fundamental flaw it takes some time to fix. We were just unable to get over all of the hurdles in time for the non-compliant rating. We’re going to have to put in place a new portal, a new reporting system to be compliant. We have a series of proposals in place now, we’re going through those. And we will get them in place.”
Anguilla and Turks and Caicos are also set to be added to the European Union’s blacklist. The new list is expected to be adopted within the next week.