Minister in Economic Affairs and Investment, Senator Chad Blackman, is suggesting that Barbados, as a mature tax jurisdiction, must continue to be a “beacon” in the Americas.

He stated this [on April 15] while delivering the feature address at the Barbados Revenue Authority’s Global Tax Update hybrid session at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre. It was hosted in conjunction with Invest Barbados, Barbados International Business Association, the International Business Unit, and the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Barbados.

Mr. Blackman stated that Barbados, as a mature and well-developed tax jurisdiction, was a member of the Global Forum of the Inclusive Framework on Base Erosion and Profit sharing.

He maintained that the island, as a member, would work closely with the Global Forum in the implementation of a number of initiatives aimed at promoting tax transparency, eliminating tax evasion and aggressive tax avoidance schemes that shift profits from one jurisdiction to another and erode the tax base of multinational enterprises.

The Minister alluded to Prime Minister Mottley’s planned reforms to the country’s corporate tax structure, as outlined in a Ministerial Statement laid in the House of Assembly last November, which according to him, were aimed at modernising corporate income tax and aligning the corporate tax framework with the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development inclusive framework on Pillar 2.

He added: “For the avoidance of doubt, the Government of Barbados is determined to ensure a conducive business environment for businesses, which includes compliance with international standards, appropriate levels of taxation and compatible tax incentives to foster growth and employment in the country. You have heard in our recent Budgetary Proposals about the importance of growth for the economy and also about looking for new areas of growth and how do we enlarge that pie in a way that is also sustainable for the country going forward.”

Senator Blackman shared that after the November 7 Ministerial Statement, two draft bills had been laid in Parliament for consideration, by the Lower House. He pointed out that the amendments to the Barbados Income Tax Act would include “the introduction of several refundable tax credits, focusing on job creation and research and development activities”.

“The proposed amendments are intended to maintain Barbados’ attractiveness as an international financial service centre, whilst at the same time honouring our international tax commitments. Notably, and more importantly, the pending corporate tax reform supports the Government’s agenda and is therefore aimed at promoting long-term sustainable development.

“It is also consistent with the themes of the 2024 Budgetary Proposals with respect to growing the Barbados economy, so as to ensure that Barbados is not only resilient from an economic perspective but that our citizens and those who reside and do business here can also be resilient as well,” the Minister underlined.

Senator Blackman reasoned that as countries continue to deal with ongoing crises in the developed world, countries like Barbados must examine ways to reposition themselves while looking forward to the future.

He said [this] forum was necessary as it updated stakeholders in government and the business community on the imminent changes to Barbados’ corporate tax landscape. During the session, there was an address by Revenue Commissioner, Louisa Lewis-Ward, followed by a number of technical sessions on various aspects of tax reform.

Source: Barbados Government Information Service