BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Thursday November 15, 2018 – The Barbados Government is on track to revise its current suite of international business legislation by year-end to ensure compliance with the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development’s (OECD) Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) Action 5 on Harmful Tax Practices.
According to the Ministry of International Business and Industry, the work is engaging the full attention of the Office of the Attorney General, the Chief Parliamentary Counsel, the Ministry of Finance, the Central Bank of Barbados and the Financial Services Commission.
Minister of International Business and Industry, Ronald Toppin confirmed that, “the Cabinet of Barbados has fully endorsed proposals which include the adoption of a regime of tax convergence across the corporate landscape. The new rates will be competitive for all businesses and will be attractive to companies of international origin as well as to local companies.”
While stating that Cabinet would be streamlining the policy initiatives today, he added that Government has already engaged the services of a private experienced draftsman to aid the Chief Parliamentary Counsel in drafting the legislative changes.
Toppin also signalled that a new regime which replaces the existing International Business Companies (IBC), as well as the International Societies with Restricted Liability (ISRL), would be rolled out effective January 1, 2019.
While this will effectively bring to an end the issuance of new IBC and ISRL’s licences, the new regime will ensure that the main incentives currently available to entities engaged in global business will continue.
International Tax Expert and Chair of the Barbados International Business Association’s (BIBA) Taskforce on Barbados’ Response to the BEPS Action 5 initiative, Ben Arrindell, in responding to the news of Cabinet’s endorsement of the recommendations said, “This decision is timely. It gives the certainty that businesses will need to plan strategically for the medium to long-term. I am confident that Barbados will meet the required deadlines and equally as important that Barbados will remain an attractive and competitive domicile for new and existing global businesses of substance.”
Minister Toppin emphasized the ongoing importance of foreign direct investment and global business to Barbados, particularly as the economy is being transformed. He noted that as a mature jurisdiction, Barbados’ public and private sectors would continue to collaborate to ensure that the island remains poised to be the preferred business centre for global business enterprises.
It is expected that a further statement relating to OECD compliance will be issued by Minister Toppin on November 20.