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Date: 14 Nov, 2018
Source: Invest Barbados

The Government of Barbados 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 Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) Action 5 on Harmful Tax Practices. As the work is ongoing and engaging the full attention of the Ministry of International Business and Industry, the Office of the Attorney General, the Chief Parliamentary Counsel, the Ministry of Finance, the Central Bank of Barbados and the Financial Services Commission, Barbados is ready to embrace the world as its business thrust.

In giving a progress report earlier today, the Hon. Ronald Toppin, M.P., Minister of International Business and Industry 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 local companies.” Cabinet will be streamlining the policy initiatives this coming Thursday. The Minister also noted that Government has already engaged the services of a private experienced draftsman to aid the Chief Parliamentary Counsel in the drafting of the legislative changes.

Specifically, Minister Toppin also signalled that a new regime, which replaces the existing International Business Companies, as well as the International Societies with Restricted Liability, will 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 BIBA’s Taskforce on Barbados’ Response to the BEPS Action 5, 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 reiterated 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 will continue to collaborate to ensure that the island is poised to be the preferred business centre for global business enterprises.

It is expected that a further and detailed statement will be issued by Minister Toppin on November 20, 2018.