The European Union (EU) Finance Ministers on the 12th March 2019 revised its list of noncooperative jurisdictions for tax purposes. The Government of St. Kitts and Nevis is pleased to note that the Federation was not named among the jurisdictions placed on the EU’s list. The EU list of non-cooperative tax jurisdictions comprises of countries that either failed to deliver on their commitments to comply with required good governance criteria or made inadequate or no commitments at all. The EU’s assessment of jurisdictions examines their legal and regulatory framework according to established criteria for(i) Tax Transparency, (ii)Fair Taxation and (iii)Implementation of Anti-BEPS Measures.
St. Kitts and Nevis always strives to adhere to the various international standards and good practices. The Federation has done well over the years and has emerged as a responsible partner operating within the international financial system. St. Kitts and Nevis is particularly proud of its longstanding record of compliance with the standards set by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) for the exchange of information for tax purposes. The Government has given its commitment to be compliant with the standards set by the EU and OECD and continues to fulfill its commitments to both institutions as evidenced by: 1. Joining the Inclusive Framework on the Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) in November 2017; 2. Attaining a Largely Compliant rating by the OECD Global Forum for the exchange of information on request; and 3. Passing in the National Assembly, the Companies (Amendment) Act 2018, and Passing in the Nevis Island Assembly, the Nevis Business Corporation (Amendment) Ordinance 2018 and the Nevis Limited Liability Company (Amendment) Ordinance 2018. With intense work by the St. Kitts and Nevis technical team, the Team Unity Administration was able to adequately address the concerns raised by the EU within the stipulated timeframe of 31 December 2018. Unfortunately, this is not the end of this arduous journey for the Federation.According to the EU, St. Kitts and Nevis will continue to be monitored by the Code of Conduct Group to ensure that the high-level commitments made to the EU regarding fair taxation and international tax good governance policies are fulfilled in 2019. In addition, in respect of the commitments given to the EU, we anticipate further actions to be taken to ensure that St. Kitts and Nevis complies with new criteria identified by the EU by December 2019.
In this regard, St. Kitts and Nevis continues to undertake the review of its legislation with a view to addressing any deficiencies including amending relevant legislation in accordance with best practice in international tax matters. Consequently, the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis will continue to ensure that stakeholders within the Financial Services Sector and the wider general public are consulted as we endeavor to maintain a strong and vibrant Sector.
St. Kitts and Nevis has never considered itself to be non-cooperative. The fact that St. Kitts and Nevis was not named on the EU revised list of non-cooperative jurisdictions is indeed a proud achievement for the Federation. Notwithstanding being a small island nation in a playing field littered with larger and more powerful nations, St. Kitts and Nevis continues to remain resolute in its commitment to strengthen and uphold the highest principles of fair taxation despite the many challenges that confront the Federation.