France no longer says St Vincent a tax haven
St Vincent & the Grenadines removed from a French blacklist of non-cooperative tax jurisdictions.
KINGSTOWN, St Vincent & the Grenadines, Thursday March 1, 2012 – With over 12 Tax Information Exchange Agreements (TIEAs) now signed; St Vincent and the Grenadines has worked itself off of France’s blacklist.
This was announced this week in the Vincentian parliament by Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves.
In 2010, France 'blacklisted' 18 countries around the world, including several other Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries, as being uncooperative tax havens and advised that it would be imposing punitive taxes on French companies operating in these jurisdictions.
St Vincent and the Grenadines joined Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, Belize, Dominica, Montserrat, St Kitts & Nevis, and St Lucia, on the list, but has been removed following its signing of more than the requisite 12 TIEAs to illustrate its commitment to tax transparency and exchange.
Dr Gonsalves told the parliament that Paris' decision to place the island on the blacklist was unilateral since the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in 2010 declared St Vincent & the Grenadines 'clean'.
Gonsalves said France is a member of the OECD and its action to compile its own blacklist was unilateral and separate from the action taken by the OECD. The OECD is the international body with oversight of international tax transparency and places countries on 'black', 'grey' or 'white' lists, depending on their level of cooperation,.
"St Vincent and the Grenadines has no history of being uncooperative with France but appears to have qualified for inclusion on the blacklist by reasons of operating an international financial services industry. St Vincent & the Grenadines, at this time, would have already completed 18 TIEAs, more than the number required to meet the international standards," Gonsalves told legislators.
The prime minister said "elections are coming on in France and we have the drumbeat again of non-cooperative jurisdictions and also 'the French blacklist'. And I see several Caribbean countries they have on it."
He went on to say: "It is as though people are looking for excuses for the meltdown in their own countries, in the United States and Europe, with a lack of proper regulation and they all the like to try and blame other people for their problems."
He added that Caribbean nations "had nothing to do with the crash of international capitalism".