BVI News

UK urged to pressure BVI and other OTs to revive COVID-hit economy

A section of the BVI

As the United Kingdom (UK) seeks revenue to revive its depleting economy, an article published September 12 by British news outlet, The London Economic, said a solution would be for Britain’s government to further clamp down on tax avoidance in its Overseas Territories.

The article titled It’s time we talk about Britain’s imperialistic overseas tax havens said a serious clampdown could prevent companies from hiding tax dollars that could ease the UK’s economic pressures brought on by COVID-19.

The article said the UK government is looking to increase national insurance costs for small businesses as one means of reviving its economy, which has taken a hit from COVID-19 and Brexit.

But it suggests that instead of pressuring small businesses, the UK should address tax avoidance in its overseas territories which “account for over a third of the world’s corporate tax avoidance (£395 billion) – four times more than any other country in the world”.

“Right now Britain needs every penny it can find. And the failure to address the offshore tax havens is a monumental waste of vital revenue streams for our national economy. The government must address this,” the article said.

UK and OTs the world’s greatest enabler of tax avoidance

The article referred to statistics from the Research by the Tax Justice Network, which found the UK and its Overseas Territories to be the world’s greatest enabler of corporate tax avoidance.

It also referred to the 2019 Tax Haven Index which ranked the BVI, Bermuda and the Cayman Islands as the world’s three biggest tax havens.

The article also said other countries could benefit from a war against tax avoidance as, “low-income countries lose about $100 billion each year through tax avoidance”.

One of the last attempts by the UK to stamp out laws that encourage tax avoidance in its territories came through the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act.

Premier still yet to declare BVI’s position

The Act was amended to dictate that the BVI and other Overseas Territories publicise the names of beneficial owners of offshore companies registered in these jurisdictions.

It is believed that this would be a deterrent to companies and wealthy people seeking to hide their wealth.

The initial implementation deadline given by the UK was December 2020 but was later extended by an additional three years, following a historic territory-wide protest against the policy in May 2018.

With the Andrew Fahie government yet to declare their position on whether public registers of beneficial ownership will be implemented in the territory, Governor Augustus Jaspert said the absence of a decision could hurt the BVI.

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36 Comments

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  1. Racism against BVI and OTs says:

    No matter what the BVI does, the racists do not want the jurisdiction to succeed. The EU is satisfied with BVI on tax. The OECD as well. What more do they want? Black people cannot be allowed to do business in peace. Read article below.

    British Virgin Islands: EU Upgrades BVI To Whitelist Status

    26 February 2020

    Mondaq

    BVI government welcomes whitelist status announcement.

    On 18 February 2020, EU Finance Ministers updated the EU list of non-cooperative tax jurisdictions, upgrading the British Virgin Islands to whitelist status, which designates the country as a fully co-operative tax jurisdiction in line with all of the tax good-governance standards. Four countries or territories were newly added to the list of non-cooperative tax jurisdictions, as they failed to comply with the required standards within the deadline, joining eight other blacklisted jurisdictions that remained non-compliant. Details of the EU list and the listing process is set out in the Common EU list of third country jurisdictions for tax purposes. 

    While the BVI has never been blacklisted, it needed to fulfill certain commitments in relation to economic substance. The BVI’s compliance process and progress was monitored by the EU prior to the latest delisting announcement. The BVI’s new whitelist status recognizes the jurisdiction’s role in what the European Council describes as “on-going efforts to prevent tax avoidance and promote good governance principles such as tax transparency, fair taxation or international standards against tax base erosion and profit shifting.”

    BVI Economic Substance Act

    The BVI complied with its commitments by undertaking legislative reform, passing the Economic Substance (Companies and Limited Partnerships) Act in 2018.

    The whitelisting signals that the BVI corporate regime is also compliant with EU transparency principles and criteria for good governance, as well as OECD Base Erosion and Profit-Sharing standards. The BVI regime is a leading example of an international financial center that balances the need for financial privacy with the efforts to fight international financial crime. Ownership information is available to regulators in the BVI and EU, but not openly available on the web or for public searches at the Registry of Corporate Affairs.

    Robust Financial Regime

    The BVI continues to maintain the core factors that have made it a leading jurisdiction—a stable economy and robust court system with a dedicated commercial court; a skilled workforce; and a range of trust, partnership, corporate, and investment vehicle options for the savvy investor. Moreover, the BVI continues to innovate, positioning the Territory as a hub for digital technology and investment, including in fintech. The industry quickly took notice of the flexible and efficient structure of BVI companies that translated ideally for use as crypto currency issuers. Coupled with its tax neutral regime and a financial system that facilitates capital flows, the BVI has quickly gained in rank to become the second-largest cryptocurrency market in the world, outpaced only by the US.

    A robust regime for financial regulation with an ongoing commitment to international co-operation on tax matters ensures that the traditional and innovative features of the BVI financial industry are always in step with global compliance standards.

    The BVI is proud to be a full partner in the global effort to prevent financial crime, while providing a flexible range of financial structures and vehicles that help to power the global economy.

    https://www.mondaq.com/tax-authorities/897784/eu-upgrades-bvi-to-whitelist-status

    Like 15
    Dislike 10
    • Lmao says:

      Everything you Belongers do and say refers to Whites being racist. First, the Belonger did not create the financial sector nor do you operate it. The Whites created it. You just collect the revenue generated by it so you can sit on your lazy a**es and do nothing. Second, since there has been a worldwide push to eliminate offshore tax havens so that the illegal laundering of money ceases. To the point, the BVI has been complicit in assisting criminals hide their wealth. This needs to end and so will the financial sector which keeps you alive. Last, the only avenue to keep the Territory alive is tourism. However your current leadership is doing all in their power to destroy tourism because once again it is the Whites who drive this industry. So what we all hope for is that the Territory goes into financial disarray and that the Belonger is finally uprooted from the shade tree under which he resides.

      Like 16
      Dislike 25
      • @ LMAO says:

        Why you so angry tho? People like you have no place here in the BVI . Your heart is full of hate and that my friend will get you no where in life. I’m amaze of the amount of hate you spoke about the BVI and it’s people and yet you are here cashing in on what they have to offer. I think it amazing that the whites brought trust companies to the BVI. They saw an opportunity to make money and so did the BVI Gov haha. I also think it’s pretty dope that the whites support the BVI tourism . They get a beautiful place to vacation and the BVI and it’s people reap the benefits. What’s so wrong with that? I also think that the people of the BVI are sensitive towards racism because a lot of whites do think that the people of the BVI are oblivious to what racism is and therefore are racist in what they say or do(Some of them)… 🤢

        Like 19
        Dislike 2
      • lol says:

        you can kiss my black hairy buttocks on your way to TB Lettsome Airport never to return

      • @Lmao says:

        I recognize you in most of your posts and you are consistently bitter toward b belongers. It is one thing to give constructive criticism but your posts are filled with generalizations, grudges and prejudices. While you have so much to say about belongers take some time to examine yourself.

        Like 11
        • @@Jmao says:

          What the babarians did to our ancestors were pure rotten evil.

          Lmao is the fruit from that tree and clearly sees us as non human. He/she is spouting the same evil daily.

          Hence, we must continue to develop our own cultural identity, or we will become what they want us to be, and accept anything they tell us we are.

          Beware, she/he is probably living and working among us, probably in some soft intel capacity, disguised under a regular job title.

      • Future says:

        The above comment, to which you reply, does not state that whites are racist. So is your statement claiming that when the term “racist” is used that it applies to “whites”? Since it seems you wish for the “downfall” of the BVI, maybe you should find somewhere else to live, if you live here, of course. It seems you do not like it here and if so, we really can do without more negative energy.

  2. Stoking the fire says:

    The Tax Justice Network has been making these claims for over 20 years and, eventually, the so called ‘tax havens’ will fall and the financial services sectors will contract significantly. This is why it is so important for the BVI Government to continue looking at other industries to bring in revenue.

    Like 24
    Dislike 1
  3. Clearly says:

    I am clearly missing something here. The BVI is handling this Coronavirus better than the UK and yet the UK are out here talking piddle.

    Like 21
    Dislike 9
  4. Research says:

    People of the BVI go search how the UK handling their economy during Covid-19 and you Will see the hypocrites they are with this.

    Like 14
    Dislike 2
  5. really says:

    slow news day, the BVI gives ZERO income to the UK but if the BVI were to recieve this tax revenue now thats a game changer. Just charge 0.5% tax on everyone that uses the offshore accounts and suddenly everyone is legal and people leave the BVI in peace

    Like 9
    Dislike 1
  6. Greed says:

    Most mothers wouldn’t starve its children to feed herself. Any parent that would starve their children to fatten themselves would be consider unfit to be a parent and out right evil.

    Like 12
    Dislike 2
    • thumbs up says:

      thumbs up 100000000 times

      Like 1
      Dislike 2
    • Oedipus says:

      We some kind of baby?
      Why do all you keep calling the UK is our ‘mother’.
      That seems so like you are weak and dependent, not like a society that can stand on its own two feet and make its own decisions.
      I call it mental slavery.
      And to the independence people: don’t be foolish. A smart society would do what’s best for it’s people now and in the future. If sticking with the UK is what will benefit us most now and in the future, that’s the decision of a grown up and confident society that has decided to use its existing historical position to its own best advantage.
      That is not the same as being the little baby and waiting to be told what to do by a colonial oppressor.

      Like 7
      Dislike 2
  7. schemers says:

    The easy tax haven money laundering scheme is in danger. Tourism is basically shut down. (Customer service was never strong here anyhow) Drug trafficking remains a key pillar of the BVI economy. What is the next economy going to be for these islands?

    Like 15
    Dislike 8
  8. leave we alone says:

    Tell UK to check jersey, gibraltar and isles of man first

    Like 19
    Dislike 1
  9. Thing to talk says:

    The Uk always want to live by do as I say but not as I do.

    Like 13
    Dislike 1
  10. Question says:

    The BVI does not bother the UK so why the hell the UK always bothering us. STrupes

    Like 10
    Dislike 2
    • they says:

      they are not its a fluff piece in an newspaper, not a government piece. You all want to hate on the UK as a territory yet a Territory very close will be very thankful in the morning for the Royal Navy.

      Like 11
      Dislike 3
  11. Tortola Born says:

    EvilCanEvil… my God that’s our livelihood. We have suffered greatly from corona virus too. Don’t you want us to survive???? And what about that repatriation monies that you owe us?

    Like 4
    Dislike 8
  12. Rubber Duck says:

    Ffs. The London Economic is a digital “ newspaper “ founded in 2017. A lefty rag that no one reads and that has nothing to do with and zero influence on UK policy.

    Like 12
  13. Yawn says:

    The BVI is one of the most highly regulated jurisdictions for financial services. Just over the last 10 years we have had so many changes or new laws to fix the issues that the naysayers have but it will never be enough because the objective of those people is to completely destroy our financial services sector. Information is provided to the relevant authorities without any problems so what more do they want other than to see it end because of jealousy and envy.

    Like 11
    Dislike 1
  14. The Truth says:

    Tell the Queen to sell her jewels and FOH

  15. Yawn says:

    Here we are panicking over a piece that is the UK equivalent of the yellow site V***. Please!!!

  16. @Lmao says:

    The Black man’s toil, sweat, labour, blodd and death built the economic, banks, industrial revolution monetary structures of the UK from the ground up.

    There would be no UK yesterday or today were it not for free wealth producing slave labour.

    It is sad that your hatred of us fail to acknowledge who have brought you from centuries of tribalism and warfare to a respected economic power on the world stage.

    You, ungrateful hatefilled monger got the audacity to blog that Black people are LAZY. YOU NEED A MORAL, human and ethical COMPASS RESETTING.

    Need not even refer to the robbing, pillaging, plundering and illegal taking of other people’s resources across the globe for centuries.

    For the beneficiaries of current day priviledges, god is watching and seeing your soul with the big hole in it.

    Indeed, the UK brought in the know how to effectuate the financial sector, but you fail to aknowledge your slave owners and benefactors left no such knowledge behind with the free slaves when the left the BIRD SANCTUARY. That language that you typed belongs in the septic tank, not in the minds of thoughtful human beings.

    Some of you are truly not just in denial of history and and its products, but are completely illiterate and evil with it.

    Like 12
    Dislike 7
    • History teacher says:

      Total crap.

      • @ History Teacher says:

        @LMAO is correct, we know the true now… and we also know that Black Lives Matter! The kingdom of white supremacy is falling all around the world! To God Be the Glory!

    • Really says:

      ‘ The Black man’s toil, sweat, labour, blodd and death built the economic, banks, industrial revolution monetary structures of the UK from the ground up‘

      Really? This is so interesting. Where did you get this information? Can you post some links to reputable peer reviewed sources detailing this fascinating piece of history.

      I would love to hear more!

    • Totally says:

      Agree!!!! Very well said!

  17. @The Truth says:

    Nah, better yet. Give them back to Africa where they took and never paid for the from.

  18. @ The black man’s toil. says:

    That’s right. You sure did put “LMAO” in his/her place. I hope he/she reads it. You said it best . They come here talking all the hatred not knowing history.Kudos to you whoever you are!

  19. Listen and learn says:

    In hard times like these every man Island country on them own… Dog eating Cats. Time for independence..

  20. Chill says:

    I have never heard of that publication and it certainly doesn’t speak for the UK. Margaret Hodge doesn’t speak for the UK. The Guardian rag doesn’t speak for the UK (it’s barely solvent – but for it’s offshore trust benefactor!!!! Reallly… – and backed the most disastrous losing campaign in electoral history).

    Not all financial services expats are white or British or both. Pretty much all have come here as a family and career decision with open minds and hearts and a desire to a positive part of the fabric of the community. Pretty much all are in the camp of the EU offensive is abhorrent and the UK’s weak stance has hitherto been disappointing. Since, before and during the 2017 storms, these people have been working hard long hours at great sacrifice to family lives (many families have been split apart at least temporarily) to keep the BVI machine going and strategise our future. Government and NGOs here have not always been collaborative or supportive, which is astonishing. In Cayman and other IFCs, industry and government has worked together and often had quicker or better responses. The lack of status, the difficulty of dealing with labour, immigration, FSC has already some leave and take their clients with them. This is senseless when BVI had the opportunity right here. How do we change this situation?

    UK has many political issues and has unfortunately been weak when defending the OTs and the legitimate business it represents. The whole transparency argument is political (and has squarely f all to do with skin colour). It’s a ridiculous argument when EU and US states are nowhere near our standards. See Netflix documentaries the China Hustle, and on HSBC and Wells Fargo. But equally we have let ourselves down also by selective regulation and failure to uphold standards. That failure surely happens everywhere but we are an easy target for those that seem to harm the business we have in partnership with the UK. The current climate of division here holds us further back than say Cayman when trying to work as a community to mitigate threats and build new opportunity. It’s destructive but unfortunately comes from the top and is enshrined in laws. Again, on Netflix you can see Social Dilemma to understand how intense and deliberate the politics of misinformation and division already is. It’s up to each of us to question the rhetoric and approach our neighbours and allies how we would wish to be treated. Let’s not follow in the mistakes of the big countries otherwise we all lose.

  21. Wake Up says:

    There would be no financial sector in the BVI without all this money laundering. Have you ever waited in line at any BVI bank to cash a check? The tellers can barely count to 10.
    We are in the Caribbean. We are descendants of pirates. The UK needs to get with the program, and the program is money laundering.
    Without these offshore accounts, people be keeping their money under their mattress. BVI should stick to tourism. We do this GREAT! If they tell us to get rid of money laundering, just close the banks and move on!

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