Key steps such as amending legislation, specifically the Income Tax Act, and putting in place the necessary administrative and IT infrastructure, are necessary if the country is to meet the requirements of the Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) signed by the Barbados Government and the United States (US) Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in 2014.
Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs Christopher Sinckler noted the above while acknowledging that the Government of Barbados has already committed to the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), through the signing of the IGA. As a result, Barbados will automatically exchange information with the US concerning accounts held by Barbadian financial institutions on US persons. In turn, the US will exchange information with Barbados in relation to accounts held by Barbadian citizens in US financial institutions.
Speaking during a public consultation on implementing the FATCA at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre recently, Minister Sinckler told members of the business community and other interested parties that the necessary amendments to the Income Tax Act needed for the FATCA’s implementation have been approved by Cabinet and will shortly be brought to Parliament.
Among other things, Chairman of the Board of the Barbados Revenue Authority, Sandra Osbourne, indicated that the recommendation for the enactment of Regulations had been submitted to Minister Sinckler, “… which would effectively give domestic enforceability to the IGA or Intergovernmental Agreement which was signed by the Government of Barbados and the US IRS in 2014. These Regulations will be made pursuant to Section 83 (2) of the Income Tax Act Cap 73…” she stated.
The implementation of FATCA will mark a new era in transparency in taxation and what qualifies as an acceptable standard for exchanging information, Osborne pointed out, while Sinckler suggested that Barbados’ move to implement FATCA will enhance our reputation and image as a jurisdiction of competence, integrity, transparency and openness, as it relates to the reporting of information and the administration of taxes.