Minister: We Will Work To Be Removed From List

March 13, 2019 | 26 Comments

Bermuda is in close consultation with the UK Government to assist with the delisting process and Bermuda officials will visit key EU Ministers or their officials in Brussels, Paris, and Berlin to reinforce Bermuda’s position, Minister of Finance Curtis Dickinson.

This follows after the EU announced that Bermuda was one of ten jurisdictions they placed on their ‘non-cooperative jurisdictions for tax purposes’ list.

Yesterday’s press conference on the matter

Speaking in the House of Assembly today [March 13], the Minister said, “I rise to provide further background information on the action by the European Union [EU] Committee of Finance Ministers, known as the Economic and Financial Affairs Council configuration [ECOFIN], to include Bermuda along with several other countries on its list of non-cooperative jurisdictions for tax purposes.

“The next meeting of ECOFIN is in May 2019 and in the interim period we will continue to make sure that Member States are clear in that Bermuda is compliant and that our legislation is fully in force and is being implemented.

“Contrary to press reports, Bermuda did not in our submissions filed with the EU Commission prior to the cutoff date add any loopholes and we totally reject any notion that Bermuda was ‘playing games’ as alleged in some press reports.

“During this process Bermuda proactively reviewed our 22 February 2019 submission. We noted a technical omission which was flagged, and as a result we sent a revision on March 4th, 2019 to address any possible lingering concern and it was circulated by the Commission to the EU member states in good time prior to the member states tax envoys meeting of March 8th, 2019. This was confirmed to Bermuda.

“If at the end of this extended process on economic substance a minor technical omission in our Regulations was addressed too late for it to be considered to Bermuda’s benefit, it is very disappointing given the ECOFIN meeting was on the 12th March 2019 and our amending submission was made on 4th March 2019.

“Bermuda has moved swiftly to request an official response from the Commission to provide its feedback on our March 4th, 2019 submission. Once this response is received we will work through the EU protocols to be removed from the list as soon as possible.

“Meanwhile Bermuda is in close consultation with the UK Government to assist us with the delisting process at the next meeting of ECOFIN. Additionally, Bermuda officials will visit key EU Ministers or their officials in Brussels, Paris, and Berlin to reinforce Bermuda’s position. We are working closely with our industry stakeholders.”

The Minister’s full statement follows below:

Mr. Speaker, I rise to provide further background information on the action by the European Union [EU] Committee of Finance Ministers, known as the Economic and Financial Affairs Council configuration [ECOFIN], to include Bermuda along with several other countries on its list of non-cooperative jurisdictions for tax purposes.

Mr. Speaker, Bermuda is a cooperative jurisdiction with the EU for tax purposes. In the spirit of continued cooperation that has been a hallmark of and underpinned Bermuda’s international tax cooperation framework over many years, the Government has legislated to address all technical requirements and have communicated these changes through our written submissions to the EU’S Code of Conduct Group on December 28th, 2018, February 22nd and March 4th and as it stands today we believe Bermuda has addressed all issues identified and is now fully compliant.

Mr. Speaker, I can report that the UK Government, a member of the ECOFIN issued a public statement yesterday affirming its position that Bermuda’s March 4th, 2019 amending submission to the EU met the EU Commission’s one remaining concern.

Additionally, the UK has published an online note yesterday morning stating, and I quote: “The UK agreement to the Council Conclusions on the revised EU list of non-cooperative jurisdictions for tax purposes is on the basis that as set out in the Conclusions, jurisdictions should be removed as soon as possible after they have demonstrated they are compliant.

The UK notes that Bermuda has legislated to address the issue identified . In light of this we expect Bermuda, and other compliant jurisdictions, to be removed from the list at the next available opportunity.”

Mr. Speaker, the next meeting of ECOFIN is in May 2019 and in the interim period we will continue to make sure that Member States are clear in that Bermuda is compliant and that our legislation is fully in force and is being implemented.

Mr. Speaker, Bermuda is a well-regulated jurisdiction that has met every international standard over many years and in the coming days and weeks we will continue to work diligently with our industry partners in order to be removed from this list at the earliest opportunity.

Mr. Speaker, contrary to press reports, Bermuda did not in our submissions filed with the EU Commission prior to the cutoff date add any loopholes and we totally reject any notion that Bermuda was “playing games” as alleged in some press reports.

For the record Mr. Speaker, Bermuda is currently a party to 41 Tax Information Exchange Agreements [TIEAs] on a bilateral basis with various countries and currently Bermuda has over 125 multilateral TIEA partners from our participation in the Multilateral Convention on Mutual Assistance in Tax Matters [the Convention]. It should be noted that our exchange of information network includes all members of the G20, all European Union Member States and other OECD countries. Also in keeping with transparency and exchange of information principles, and as part of our efforts to combat tax evasion, the Government has implemented U.S. FATCA and through Bermuda’s participation in the Convention we exchange the OECD Common Reporting Standard [“CRS”] and the OECD Country by Country [CBC] information with every country around the world that joined the OECD administered Convention [which includes all EU member States]. Mr. Speaker, does this sound like a country that was “playing games”?

Mr. Speaker, during this process Bermuda proactively reviewed our 22 February 2019 submission. We noted a technical omission which was flagged, and as a result we sent a revision on March 4th, 2019 to address any possible lingering concern and it was circulated by the Commission to the EU member states in good time prior to the member states tax envoys meeting of March 8th, 2019. This was confirmed to Bermuda.

Mr. Speaker, if at the end of this extended process on economic substance a minor technical omission in our Regulations was addressed too late for it to be considered to Bermuda’s benefit, it is very disappointing given the ECOFIN meeting was on the 12th March 2019 and our amending submission was made on 4th March 2019.

Mr. Speaker, Bermuda has moved swiftly to request an official response from the Commission to provide its feedback on our March 4th, 2019 submission. Once this response is received we will work through the EU protocols to be removed from the list as soon as possible.

Mr. Speaker, meanwhile Bermuda is in close consultation with the UK Government to assist us with the delisting process at the next meeting of ECOFIN. Additionally, Bermuda officials will visit key EU Ministers or their officials in Brussels, Paris, and Berlin to reinforce Bermuda’s position. We are working closely with our industry stakeholders.

As the Premier indicated, the last few months have been a trying time, and I want to thank all the stakeholders from industry who have assisted the Ministry of Finance during this process with their time and ideas. It is not lost on any of us that Bermuda’s substance regulations are regarded as the strictest, yet we find ourselves alone on this list.

Mr. Speaker, earlier this week I met with many of the stakeholders and the Leader of the Opposition to apprise them of the possibility of yesterday’s result. My message yesterday and today are the same, we must be united to work to ensure that Bermuda is removed from the list, and I am confident that this unwarranted inclusion will be reversed at the earliest opportunity.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker

click here Bermuda EU List

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Comments (26)

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  1. PLP Amateur hour says:

    How do we know they aren’t going to skip this meeting too? I hear there is a cereal bar near by and we know what can happen then. The incompetence of this Government is embarrassing. #DemandBurtsResignation

    • Come Correct says:

      Time will tell but I truly believe this is all by design.

      Someone has “scores to settle” and promised to “bring this island to its knees”.

  2. Periodic Updates says:

    Good to hear Minister.

    This SHOULD not have happened.

    Bermuda should never have been BLACKLISTED in the first place.

    We must be given regular updates as to your progress with this.

  3. Ty says:

    The long and short of it all is:- Look, we effed up. Dang it was a mistake. Don’t get ya panties in a twist. We will fix this.

    • CHRIS says:

      this was NO MISTAKE. Burtie has the same god complex as Erat – who do you think he learned it from? He’d rather cut Bermuda off from biz with the EU to get to his end purpose and you know what that is. I will be interested to see whose HEAD IS GONNA ROLE because somebody needs to get FIRED.

  4. Guernsey not a tax Haven but meanwhile says:

    in Bermuda–we are blacklisted.

    Proud day for us all!

    https://gsy.bailiwickexpress.com/gsy/news/guernsey-proves-its-not-tax-haven/#.XIkl4rh7m9I

  5. Mark says:

    Should never had been placed on the list under YOUR watch. Bunch of numpties. I’m sure Renee is on the case in Belgium, or whatever part of Europe we are wasting tax dollars to keep her in.

  6. Mr. Apathy says:

    When is the government going to wake up and realise that the EU (or any regulatory body for that matter) will not simply be satisfied that Bermuda is not a tax haven just because the Bermudian government repeatedly tells them we are not a tax haven?

    Demonstrate, substantiate and provide ample evidence to support that statement. Had that actually be done previously, we wouldn’t have been placed on the blacklist to begin with! The incompetence on display here on the part of the PLP in terms of governance is mind-boggling!

  7. Sailor says:

    So we are getting the UK to help us get off the list?

    I thought they were evil colonial powers?

    • Reality Cheque says:

      That’s just how bad this massive screw-up is! Do you all get it now? Burt needs to resign then the rest of the PLP need to beg and plead that the UK help us remove this permanent stain from our reputation.

      Yes, it IS that bad no matter how many times you say it isn’t and call people drama queens.
      IT. IS. THAT. BAD.

  8. Jon Snow says:

    Winter is coming.

  9. Curtis Dickinson, unlike Cannonier and his abundance of lies..lies,,thank you greatly for your frankness, openness and transparency, unlike OBA: dishonest, foolish, wicked!!

    • sandgrownan says:

      The only thing that appears to be Straightforward is the continued failure of the PLP in Government.

    • Anbu says:

      Ah so i guess its cool when your pee el pee f’s up. So long as they tell u they f’d up and all is well. Lmfao. U cannot make this stuff up. Shouldnt have f’d up in the first place. But i suppose its just par for the course with the level of intelligence that is usually displayed by this inept government and their idiot followers. Smh. Typical.

  10. Ringmaster says:

    So much for a budget surplus in 2019 and debt repayment. Talk about an own goal. Less expats = less tax. Shame it will be the Bermudian taxpayers who suffer while Civil Servants get subsidized mortgages, paid by more debt.

  11. Common Sense says:

    This has happened. The big worry is that the next gross error may be worse for our economy. When rather than if?

  12. not sure how you could make that mistake... says:

    Bob Richards wouldn’t have screwed this up….

  13. Bermewjan says:

    The real problem is that the PLP believe they can play chicken with major superpowers. Yes, yes, we know the PLP want to become the oppressors in Bermuda, but that doesn’t mean anyone overseas cares about such foolish goals. Stop cutting off our nose to spite our face fools! Keep your Lord of the Flies stupidity to your local pile of tricks. When it comes to international policies, just play ball otherwise your little party will soon be spoilt.

  14. JjADAMS says:

    #RESIGNATION WE will not fix anything. They will. You need to go with Burt.

  15. sandgrownan says:

    Why hasn’t Burt resigned yet for his monumental f*** up?

  16. St.George's Passport and Immigration Control says:

    Vote of No Confidence in the plp is needed.

  17. spinspinspin says:

    More likely to be lying- the EU or the PLP? Hmmmmm

  18. PANGAEA says:

    MAN UP !
    Get it on the table .
    Show us what what was done wrong.

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