Tax haven label haunts Barbados

There is a worrying perception of Barbados on as a tax haven, a view that is hampering the island’s status as a jurisdiction in which to do business, says President of the Barbados International Business Association (BIBA) Gregory McConnie.

Equally troubling, McConnie says, is that Barbados’ primary investing jurisdiction, Canada, had begun to share this perception.

The business executive said the Canadian government had been making a concerted effort to appease Canadians who had been complaining about their businesses and compatriots “who park their money in low tax jurisdictions like Barbados and don’t contribute their fair share” of taxes.

“The rhetoric continued with bodies such as the Canadians for Tax Fairness which estimated that wealthy individuals and corporations shifted CAN$270 billion into the world’s tax havens resulting in an annual revenue loss to the Canadian government of about CAN$8 billion,” McConnie told the BIBA forum on the international business sector.

He also complained that the Global Alliance for Tax Justice had claimed that “the top Canadian haven of choice is Barbados where Canadians have parked nearly CAN$80 billion”.

The BIPA president said there appeared to be a lack of understanding of the true nature of the issues and policy considerations that led to the growth of Canadian international business here.

Tax havens are commonly described as countries or jurisdictions that have a low-tax or no-tax regime, or which offer generous tax incentives.

However, tax havens are also sometimes linked to more nefarious activities such as enabling the hiding of assets and tax avoidance.

McConnie said while Canada’s perceptions of the country’s tax policy may be the biggest worry, it was not the only one.

“Just this year the country was placed on a blacklist by the UK-based aid and development charity Oxfam as one of the world’s 15 worst tax havens. Investipedia, a leading source of financial content for the web, has Barbados listed among the Top 10 Caribbean tax havens, even though it mentions that Barbados is not a ‘pure’ tax haven  . . . [and] that it is a very low-tax environment for offshore corporations incorporated in Barbados,” the BIBA head said.

6 Responses to Tax haven label haunts Barbados

  1. jus me April 1, 2017 at 7:37 am

    Listen brother, we are not just TAX PRODUCING UNITS, we are NOT TAX COWS, to be milked for whatever is needed by the Elite of this World, so they can live a life of tax free luxury.

    Barbados is a very little Island, you are trying to squeeze the life out of us, BUT FOR YOUR BENEFIT not ours.

    IF Canadians have parked 80 billion here , then HOORAY for us,
    we should get the benefit.
    The LAW is a JOKE.
    Rich countries use it to FLEECE all the rest of the World.

    IF Barbados did what Canada wants, just so the ELITE of Canada have more tax free cash for squandering,
    would what we get in return be anywhere near the 83 billions we have here now.

    So my advice to Canada is , SHOVE IT.
    WE OK as we are.

  2. RB April 1, 2017 at 8:17 am

    The international business sector pays most of the taxes received by the government. Without it, Barbados would be in a much bigger hole than it already is and “Jus me” and all of us would be feeling the squeeze even more

  3. RB April 1, 2017 at 8:19 am

    It also amazes me how the sectors that actually produce something for Barbados are regularly lambasted by those that contribute little but hour air

  4. RB April 1, 2017 at 8:20 am

    …Sorry – hot air

  5. Tony Webster April 1, 2017 at 3:15 pm

    @RB: touché! If one researches the rise of our Offshore banking ( re-labeled “International Business”) sector, certain people would realize , if not appreciate, that great foresight, and much effort was invested in the “journey from an S.S.S. (Sea, Sand, Sky) and sugar economy,not what we have today: an international reputation among other global giants, but without the stigma of a Panama! Whole careers, a
    Most lifetimes, were invested in the process, by folks with great intellect, and determination, and achievement. Today, we have major accounting, banking, and legal practices, all supporting the industry.

    Indeed, the creation of our singular greatest contribution to the tax-base, contains a critical -and apparently overlooked- lessonwhich needs dusting off and brought to bear right now: the men who launched our offshore sector, played to our strengths, and filled a market niche- simultaneously! They saw wealthy tourists; they saw our cadre of globally recognized , and trustworthy banks; they saw competent chartered accounting firms of note; and we already had had a practice-round or two, in negotiating double-taxation agreements with mother-England, and a couple others. The rest, as they say, is history.

    Without that influx of tax-dollars from backs other than our own…AND. In F/X too….we could never have achieved the socio-economic heights we have indeed scaled. It is also true to note, and to applaud, the fact that those lawyers, and bankers, and accountants/auditors, also worked cohesively and effectively, with the government of the day. Please re-read my last paragraph, or two.

    Some people don’t know…and worse yet, are ignorant of their ignorance.

  6. Bobo April 3, 2017 at 3:33 pm

    Tax havens haunts Barbados– Bull shit–what about Caymans -Bahamas- Jersey -Switzerland Dubai–and slowly but surely Gibraltar —

    Mc Connie why Barbados 166sq miles is it because we have a weak disorganize government .


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