Premier Dr D Orlando Smith said Cabinet was able to waive the tendering process to retain Queen’s Counsel Michael Furness for up to $400,000 because the attorney came “highly recommended”.
Dr Smith said the recommendation came from both BVI and UK experts in financial services – the area in which Furness was contracted to draft a law for the BVI.
“He’s actually one of the leading experts in tax law and he should be able to help us to develop the necessary regulations and necessary laws to support what we’re doing as far as the European Union (EU) regulations are concerned,” Dr Smith said.
Furness was specifically hired to draft local laws in an area of financial services known as ‘economic substance’, which the EU says the BVI is deficient in.
Economic substance is achieved when a business’ economic activity is proportionately reflected in the jurisdiction where it generates its profits and pays its taxes.
The BVI government has been instructed to implement the requisite legislation that supports economic substance by the end of December 2018. The BVI will be added to the European Union’s (EU) dreaded ‘blacklist’ of tax haven jurisdictions and subjected to diplomatic sanctions if it does not have these laws in place by the mandated time.
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