In a statement before the House of Assembly on 9th March 20223, Premier Dr. the Hon. Natalio Wheatley announced that the Peer Review Group of the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes (PRG) has given approval for a supplementary review for the British Virgin Islands (BVI).
The Premier said:
Madam Speaker, the Peer Review Group of the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes (PRG) has given approval for a supplementary review for the British Virgin Islands (BVI).
The approval was given at a meeting last week, following a recent official visit of a BVI Government delegation to the PRG in France, to formally communicate the progress made by the BVI in implementing the exchange of information standard. Notably, legislative changes put into place by the BVI in 2022, which came into force on 1 January 2023 (including BVI Business Companies Amendment Act 2022 and BVI Business Amendment Regulations 2022), were not included in the current rating.
Following the completion of the supplementary review, the BVI is confident a “largely compliant” or “compliant” rating will be given.
A rating less than ‘largely compliant’ is one of the criteria that determines the “EU List of Non-cooperative Jurisdictions for Tax Purposes” (EU List). Following a meeting of the Council of the European Union on 14 February 2023, the BVI was added to the EU list of non-cooperative tax jurisdictions (Annex I). In a statement, the EU Council found that the BVI was not sufficiently in compliance with the OECD standard on the exchange of information on request but noted that this was the first time the BVI had been added to the list.
Madam Speaker, had the approval for a supplementary review been granted before the EU list was published, the BVI would have remained on Annex II, reflecting jurisdictions that have committed to implementing reforms. The BVI, therefore, expects this will come into effect at the next review of the list in October 2023.
The BVI is a world-class international financial centre, committed to high international standards on transparency and regulation and offering a premier business-friendly jurisdiction facilitating global investment and trade.
I take this opportunity to thank the Ministry of Finance, Financial Service Commission, International Tax Authority, House of Assembly and all stakeholders who played a role in making this possible.
Particularly, I recognise the delegation to the Peer Review Group, which was comprised of the Financial Secretary, Mr. Jeremiah Frett, and the Director of the International Tax Authority, Ms. Latoya James and the remote support by the Deputy Director of the Financial Services Commission Mr. Glenford Malone. I thank you Madam Speaker.