By Caribbean News Now contributor
HAMILTON, Bermuda — The Bermuda government has responded to the island being listed, along with two other British territories, the British Virgin Islands and Jersey, as tax havens by France, meaning the three territories will be subject to tougher tax policies applied by the French government.
A spokesperson for Bermuda said: “The government of Bermuda is surprised by reports that the territory is to be included in France’s list of offshore financial centres with which France has issues, particularly as Bermuda has an existing exchange of information agreement (TIEA) with France, one of 39 bilateral transparency agreements Bermuda has, including with 90 percent of the G20 countries. Bermuda is also vice chair of the steering group for the OECD Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes.
“Bermuda’s Ministry of Finance has contacted officials within the French government seeking clarification regarding this action and stating Bermuda’s position as we seek to resolve this issue.
“Bermuda anticipates all of its internal processes for automatic exchange of information instruments such as US and UK FATCA IGA Model 2 and the Multilateral Convention will be completed by the end of September 2013, and envisages any entry on France’s list will therefore be very short-lived or never happen if in fact that list is to be effective later than 2013.
“Bermuda has stated publicly that it supports the proposed G5/EU multilateral pilot based on US FATCA and will sign-on when the multilateral exchange of information pilot is ready for adoption.
“More generally, Bermuda is recognized as complying with the highest international standards on tax transparency and compliance.
“Bermuda recently underwent a combined Phase 1 and Phase 2 OECD assessment which was very positive and determined that the Territory not only has the legislative procedures in place but has an active exchange of information regime in place with its tax treaty partners.”