The Bahamas, Doing its Part to Tackle Harmful Tax Practices

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Acting Prime Minister the Hon. K. Peter Turnquest brought remarks at the Bahamas Financial Services Board Industry Development Series: ‘Financial Crimes Enforcement, Compliance and Risk Management’ at the British Colonial Hilton, February 19, 2020. (Photo/Ministry of Finance)

Acting Prime Minister the Hon. K. Peter Turnquest stated that at every level, The Bahamas is doing its part in the global effort to tackle harmful tax practices and dismantle artificial tax practices. “We have worked diligently to demonstrate our commitment at the highest political level,” the Acting Prime Minister added as he brought remarks at the Bahamas Financial Services Board Industry Development Series: ‘Financial Crimes Enforcement, Compliance and Risk Management’ at the British Colonial Hilton, February 19, 2020. “The same applies to our efforts with financial crimes such as tax evasion and money laundering. He explained that just this week, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) Plenary is in session in Paris, and the Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Senator the Hon. Carl Bethel is leading a delegation to represent The Bahamas. “We have already satisfied over 30 of the 40 recommendations under FATF, and continue to take the appropriate measures to ensure that The Bahamas adheres to international best practices.”

The Acting Prime Minister stated that the government will continue to promote engagement with all stakeholders on these issues and do what is in the country’s national interest to ensure The Bahamas remains the preferred jurisdiction of choice for financial services in the region. He also noted that taxation of the digital economy is the next frontier for global regulatory reform. “In fact, at the G20 Riyadh Summit later this year, nations with some of the largest economies in the world are expected to vote in support of a new system of taxation rights allocation. The new system intends to prevent multinational companies from diverting taxable income to low tax jurisdictions by imposing minimum tax levels on their global income.”

The Acting Prime Minister said the introduction of a global minimum corporate tax rate will have an impact in the medium and long term on all countries, including The Bahamas. “It will have future implications for our participation in the global economy. Now is therefore the time to plan and prepare so that we can exercise influence, and better adapt to the new possible realities. “As I have said before, the participation of everyone in the industry is needed to support this effort: CEOs, COOs, directors, officers, senior management, compliance professionals, relationship managers, and other employees with regulatory and compliance responsibilities. He said, “As we navigate times ahead, the government will continue to be a strong partner and play its part to protect, promote and facilitate the growth of financial services industry. As we have conquered challenges in the past, we will conquer them in the future as well.”

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