15 October 2015

Pending U.S. Measure Labels 19 Caribbean Territories as Tax Havens

List includes dependencies of Anguilla, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Turks and Caicos Islands and the U.S. Virgin Islands; as well as the autonomous countries of Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao, St. Maarten.

SAN JUAN – The Caribbean Association of Banks is expressing concern over the inclusion of 19 Caribbean islands and territories on a list of tax havens in the District of Columbia Fiscal Year 2016 Budget Support Act of 2015, which is awaiting approval by the U.S. Congress.

The D.C. legislation seeks to expand the definition of tax haven to the detriment of Caribbean territories that are making good faith efforts against tax evasion, the CAB said Wednesday in a statement.

“While the CAB fully supports the District of Columbia’s efforts to combat tax evasion, the CAB feels that the designation of Caribbean territories as ‘tax havens’ is prejudicial,” the Castries-based organization said.

Because the District of Columbia is federal territory, D.C. legislation must be approved by Congress.

In this case, the review process is expected to continue for several more weeks and CAB has sent letters to members of Congress urging them to remove several territories from the tax haven blacklist.

CAB said that 10 of the 15 Caribbean Community member-states on the list “are fully or largely compliant and have committed to Automatic Exchange of Information.”

Those 10 CARICOM members are: Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, St. Lucia, St. Kitts and Nevis and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

Non-CARICOM members included on the D.C. tax haven list are: Anguilla 1/, Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao, St. Maarten, British Virgin Islands 1/, Cayman Islands 1/, Turks and Caicos Islands 1; and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

1/ These British dependencies are associate members of CARICOM (OTR).