By Kamal Haynes, BVI News Staff
The Beneficial Ownership Secure Search System (BOSSs) Act has received its third amendment for 2019 to further prevent the British Virgin Islands from being blacklisted as a non-compliant tax haven jurisdiction.
The bill entitled the Beneficial Ownership Secure Search System Amendment No.3 Act, 2019 was passed during the House of Assembly on October 18.
Premier Andrew Fahie explained that the purpose of the new amendments to the principal BOSSs legislation is to enable the system to now access economic substance information, which is required to be filed with the International Tax Authority (ITA).
“The competent authority for purposes of the principal legislation will now be defined specifically to refer to the Financial Investigation Agency so as not to confuse it with any references to the International Tax Authority, which is also a competent authority,” the Premier said.
He added: “The bill will further amend the definition section of the principal legislation by defining beneficial ownership information as opposed to economic substance legislation which will also be a defined term.”
He explained that by defining these terms, it will preserve the continued security of beneficial ownership information that will continue to be accessed only in accordance with strict protocols and only when needed by the ITA to undertake enforcement action under all BVI laws related to economic substance.
Power to minister to make regulations
The Premier also revealed a third amendment which he termed as ‘important’.
He said this change will give power to the Minister of Finance to make regulations to allow the ITA to be able to access economic substance information collected on BOSSs.
This measure will be done in situations where the ITA needs this information to monitor and enforce legal entities compliance with economic substance requirements.
The Premier further said that regulations are also to be made to allow the ITA to share certain information with other tax authorities in specified cases of non-compliance with the economic substance requirements.
The previous amendment to the BOSSs Act was done in August 2019 to facilitate the increase of staff at the ITA.
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