Bermuda is keeping a close eye on European Union developments around requirements for jurisdictions with low or no income tax.
The European Council is considering finalising criteria for those jurisdictions, and an update is anticipated later this month according to David Burt.
The Premier gave MPs an appraisal on the situation in the House of Assembly this morning. In his ministerial statement about the EU list of non co-operative jurisdictions, he said the Bermuda Government keeps a regular “watching brief on these matters and Bermuda can be assured that at every turn we are prepared to meet the issues that may arise”.
Mr Burt, who is also Minister of Finance, said: “As soon as the EU has produced the documents which our legislative amendments will be required to meet by December 31, 2018, we will engage in industry-wide consultation on the next steps for Bermuda.”
At the end of last year, the European Council published a list of noncooperative jurisdictions in taxation matters. Mr Burt said the island’s “commitment letter” to the EU was sufficiently clear to keep Bermuda off the list. The letter along with commitment letters from another 40 countries appear on the EC’s website.
Mr Burt said: “Bermuda along with other low/no income tax jurisdictions are in dialogue with the EU Code of Conduct Group (Business Taxation) and the European Commission both of whom are assisting the European Council to manage its list of noncooperative jurisdictions.”
The Premier said there was no room for negotiation of special treatment, carve-outs of exemptions “as the EC is adhering to a level playing field approach”.
Bermuda and other UK crown dependencies and overseas territories are also in consultation with the British Government. Mr Burt said he has been keeping Jeanne Atherden, the Leader of the Opposition, fully briefed on the matter.
Mr Burt added: “Let me take this opportunity to thank members of the Insurance Advisory Committee and also stakeholders from the local and international business community who are serving as an ad hoc advisory committee on this important issue. These two committees have provided valued advice and support during these past months and continue to do so.”
• Click on Related Media to read the full ministerial statement