Bermuda, Jersey and BVI Branded as Tax Havens
PARIS – The government of France is taking a firm stance in the fight against international financial crimes by classifying three more countries as tax havens.
France has officially classified Bermuda, British Virgin Islands and Jersey as “non-co-operative jurisdictions” in regards to information sharing and taxation, with the three countries joining the ranks of Botswana, Brunei, Guatemala, Marshall Islands, Montserrat, Nauru and Niue, which have also effectively been classed as tax havens.
The countries on the list each face a 75 percent automatic withholding tax on any payments coming from France.
The withholding tax will only come into effect on January 1st 2014 for the three newly added countries, and the government of each nation now has until the end of this year to address and rectify the reasons for which it was listed.
The listings received an immediate responses from the governments of the three countries, with each claiming that the decisions were unfounded.
The government of Jersey indicated that it was “amazed” at the move, but was confident that the issue could be resolved quickly.
The Ministry of Finance of Bermuda stated that the listing is unlikely to last long, as Bermuda intends to ratify an information exchange agreement with France by the end of the year.
The British Virgin Islands also responded, noting that the BVI has maintained “…the highest standards of transparency, accountability and information exchange, as set out by global organizations such as the OECD and the IMF.”