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Bahamas Seeks Removal From Colombian Blacklist Via TIEA

by Mike Godfrey, Lowtax.net, New York
20 January, 2014

The Bahamas will pursue a tax information exchange agreement (TIEA) with Colombia to ensure its removal from the Latin American country's tax blacklist, Ryan Pinder, Minister for Financial Services in the Bahamas, said.

The Colombian government placed the Bahamas on a list of jurisdictions deemed to be "tax havens," along with 43 others, in October of last year. Assets moved from Colombia to any of the countries included on the blacklist are subjected to a 33 percent tax.

Pinder confirmed that The Bahamas' Cabinet has approved the plan to pursue TIEA negotiations with Colombia, after an "informal poll" of industry stakeholders resulted in a general consensus that this is the best course of action.

In October, Colombian Minister of Finance Maurico Cardenas said that the signing of a TIEA was one way for The Bahamas to be removed from the blacklist, but the Colombian government said that it would only update the blacklist in October 2014 after a review is conducted.

The Bahamas also plans to seek multilateral negotiations with other Latin American countries "to see if we can find a solution or work together to really reverse this trend of blacklisting by Latin America, given the sensitivities of the clientele, to find a solution that is acceptable to clients, institutions and governments," Pinder said.

Latin America has become an important market for The Bahamas' financial services since countries such as the United Kingdom, the United States and France began clamping down on the transfer of their citizens' assets abroad.

To date The Bahamas has signed over 28 TIEAs, following the 2009 decision by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) to add the Caribbean country to its "grey list" of countries considered to be "non-cooperative" in matters of tax information exchange transparency until it signed at least 12 TIEAs.


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