British Virgin Islands: Double Tax Treaties
The British Virgin Islands have double tax treaties with the UK, Japan and Switzerland; in the last two cases, this means just that the UK's treaty with the countries concerned has been extended to the BVI. Prior to the introduction of the BVIBC Act, the benefit of these Double Tax Treaties applied only to BVI resident companies, which had to take the form of Companies Act (Cap. 285) Companies (see Forms of Company). Since the overwhelming majority of BVI companies took the form of the International Business Company, the International Limited Partnership or the Trust, all of which were exempt from taxes and fell outside the ambit of the Double Tax Treaties, offshore investors were not in a position to use the BVI Double Tax Treaties.
Since the OECD recommenced its offshore tax transparency crusade with the publication of its black/grey/white list, the BVI has entered into numerous Tax and Information Exchange Agreements to avoid being branded as an uncooperative tax haven (see below). In addition, an amendment to the tax agreement with the UK was signed in 2008, and double tax agreements with seven Nordic countries were signed in 2009.
The jurisdiction was placed on the OECD's 'white list' in July, 2009.