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Barbados: Double Tax Treaties

Introduction

This page was last updated on 10 Apr 2019.

Barbados has a number of double tax treaties, but the US and Canadian treaties in particular are extremely favourable for certain types of investor. The full list of countries Barbados has double tax treaties with is given below, together with their year of entry into force.

Country Year Effective Country Year Effective
Austria 2007 Netherlands 2007
Bahrain 2013 Norway 1991
Botswana 2005 Panama 2011
Canada 1980 Portugal 2017
CARICOM1 1995 Qatar 2013
China 2000 San Marino 2013
Cuba 2000 Seychelles 2008
Cyprus 2018 Singapore 2014
Czech Republic 2012 Spain 2011
Finland 1992 Sweden 1991
Iceland 2012 Switzerland2 1963
Italy 2017 UAE 2016
Luxembourg 2011 United Kingdom 2012
Malta 2002 USA 1986
Mauritius 2005 Venezuela 2001
Mexico 2009

Notes:

  1. The treaty with CARICOM represents double tax agreements with all 10 fellow member states: Antigua, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent & the Grenadines and Trinidad & Tobago.
  2. The treaty with Switzerland was inherited from the UK’s treaty when Barbados gained its independence in 1966. Barbados also inherited treaties with Sweden, Norway and Finland; these have since been replaced with more modern ones that have low rates of withholding, tax-sparing provisions and limitations on treaty shopping.

As of April 2019, Barbados has 40 tax treaties. Treaties with Ghana, Rwanda and Slovakia have been signed but are not yet in force.

The 1980 Canadian treaty was extensively updated by a protocol signed in November 2011. The protocol contains provision for the exchange of information and came into force in December 2013.

The Barbados-US tax treaty dates from 1984, and was accompanied by an exchange of tax information agreement (see Other International Agreements below). The treaty is attractive to third country investors in US property and US manufacturers. Many US investors are exempted from US accumulated earnings tax on Barbadian profits - this is a rare feature in US tax treaties. A protocol to the US treaty signed in 1991 lowered withholding rates and introduced new 'limitations on benefits' rules.

The US treaty was further amended in 2004 in what was said to be an attempt to counter tax evasion. The second protocol to the 1984 treaty was co-signed by then US Treasury Secretary John Snow and Barbadian Industry and International Business Minister, Dale Marshall. It went into force in December 2004.

Technical discussions on the opening of negotiations have also been held with the Republic of Ireland, Brazil and South Africa, while Barbados has also explored the possibility of new agreements with Slovakia.

In December 2009, the governments of the Netherlands and Barbados signed a protocol which amended the convention on the avoidance of double taxation that they share, in order to quash tax treaty abuse. The protocol in question amends the convention to prevent Dutch taxpayers from using the treaty to transfer dividends free of tax to a third country through the Caribbean territory. The new text also stipulates a tax rate of no more than 15% on dividends, and contains more stringent parameters on eligibility.

 

Latest Barbados Treaty Updates

Treaty Update: Mauritius - Barbados
14 May, 2018
The Mauritius Revenue Authority on March 19, 2018, published Government Notice No. 36 of 2018, confirming the entry into force of a Protocol updating its DTA with Barbados.
Treaty Update: Barbados - Australia
19 February, 2018
Barbados's Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Maxine McClean, pushed for the conclusion of a DTA with Australia during recent meetings.
Treaty Update: Barbados - Italy
03 November, 2017
Barbados and Italy have exchanged instruments of ratification in respect of a DTA, which will now become effective from January 1, 2018.
Treaty Update: Barbados - Cyprus
22 May, 2017
Barbados and Cyprus signed a DTA on May 10, 2017.
Treaty Update: Italy - Barbados
11 May, 2017
Italy's Chamber of Deputies approved a law to ratify the DTA with Barbados on May 2, 2017.
Treaty Update: Ghana - Barbados
20 June, 2016
Ghana and Barbados have signed a DTA, Barbados's inward investment agency said on June 9, 2016, noting that it is awaiting ratification.
Treaty Update: Poland - Barbados
25 May, 2016
Poland and Barbados intend to negotiate a DTA, the Barbados Government said on May 19, 2016.
Treaty Update: Barbados - Greece
11 November, 2015
Barbados and Greece discussed the possibility of signing a DTA on November 4, 2015.
Treaty Update: Barbados - Slovakia
10 November, 2015
Barbados and Slovakia signed a DTA on October 28, 2015.
Treaty Update: Barbados - Italy
02 September, 2015
Barbados and Italy signed a DTA on August 24, 2015.
Treaty Update: Barbados - Cyprus
19 August, 2015
The Barbados Government has announced that it will soon begin DTA negotiations with Cyprus.
Treaty Update: Barbados - Italy
19 August, 2015
The Barbados Government said on August 10, 2015, that it expects to soon sign a DTA with Italy.
Treaty Update: Barbados - Korea, South
30 July, 2015
During a recent meeting by the Korean Ambassador-Designate to Barbados, Doo-Young Lee, Barbados expressed an interest in launching DTA negotiations with South Korea.
Treaty Update: Barbados - Cyprus
12 March, 2015
Barbados and Cyprus are engaged in negotiations towards a DTA, the Barbados Government confirmed on March 2, 2015.
Treaty Update: Barbados - Israel
24 February, 2015
Barbados and Israel are engaged in negotiations towards the conclusion of a DTA, it was confirmed at a meeting on January 22, 2015.
Treaty Update: South Africa - Barbados
20 February, 2015
A notice was published in the South Africa official gazette on February 17, 2015, reporting that the TIEA with Barbados entered into force on January 19, 2015.
Treaty Update: Barbados - Rwanda
06 January, 2015
According to preliminary media reports, Barbados signed a DTA with Rwanda on December 22, 2014.
Treaty Update: United Arab Emirates - Barbados
30 September, 2014
United Arab Emirates signed a DTA with Barbados on September 24, 2014.
Treaty Update: Barbados - Japan
13 August, 2014
Barbados and Japan have committed to continue negotiations towards a DTA, the Barbados Government confirmed on August 6, 2014.
Treaty Update: Barbados - Brazil
23 June, 2014
Barbados is seeking DTA negotiations with Brazil to enhance economic ties, Barbados's Prime Minister, Freundel Stuart, said on June 16, 2014.
Treaty Update: Singapore - Barbados
19 May, 2014
The DTA between Barbados and Singapore entered into force on April 25, 2014.
Treaty Update: Barbados - Canada
10 January, 2014
The Barbados Government on January 7, 2014, confirmed that the DTA Protocol signed with Canada has become effective.
Treaty Update: Barbados - Singapore
18 July, 2013
Barbados and Singapore signed a DTA on July 15, 2013.
Treaty Update: Bahrain - Barbados
09 July, 2013
According to preliminary media reports, Bahrain completed its domestic ratification procedures in respect of the DTA the nation signed with Barbados on July 1, 2013.
Treaty Update: Bahrain - Barbados
08 May, 2013
Bahrain's upper house of parliament, the Shura Council, approved a law to ratify the DTA signed with Barbados on May 6, 2013.
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