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BVI Responds To Global Forum 'Non-Compliant' Rating

by Mike Godfrey, Lowtax.net, New York
28 November, 2013

The government of the British Virgin Islands (BVI) has disputed its recent "non-compliant" rating given by the OECD's Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes.

The rating, which is based on data from June 2009 to July 2012, fails to take into account changes introduced since mid-2012, according to a press release from the government.

The Global Forum acknowledged that the International Tax Authority, which the BVI established in July 2012, handles incoming requests for information in a timely manner, but said it could not assess its procedures as it was established outside of the review period.

The BVI has requested a supplementary review, confident that this will result in a more accurate compliance rating for the territory.

"The BVI has a proven track record in supporting the principles of the Global Forum on tax transparency and information exchange. The BVI was one of the first countries to become an active member of the Peer Review Group (PRG) in 2009," BVI Financial Secretary Neil Smith said during the Sixth Meeting of the Global Forum in Jakarta, Indonesia. "We now have more extensive financial regulation than many of the larger OECD countries and I am very confident that following a supplementary review by the Global Forum, ratings will more accurately reflect the BVI's compliance with the global standard."

The government said that the Global Forum's move to implement a new peer review process, in which ratings are given at the same time as the assessments are done, would ensure a fair, transparent and consistent global standard.

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