Got TIPS or BREAKING NEWS? Please call 1-284-442-8000 or Email ALL news to:newsvino@outlook.com; ads call 1-284-440-6666

‘I don’t support notion that VI is a notorious tax haven’ – Premier Smith

- rejects accusation that the VI stands along with Cayman Islands & Bermuda as ‘notorious’ tax havens
A recent report from the Citizens for Tax Justice and the U.S. Public Interest Research Group listed Bermuda, Cayman Islands and Virgin Islands as three of the biggest 'tax havens' for US companies. Photo: VINO/File
Premier Dr The Honourable D. Orlando Smith has slapped down suggestions that the Virgin Islands shares a place along with Bermuda and the Cayman islands as the top three ‘notorious’ tax havens in the world. Photo: VINO
Premier Dr The Honourable D. Orlando Smith has slapped down suggestions that the Virgin Islands shares a place along with Bermuda and the Cayman islands as the top three ‘notorious’ tax havens in the world. Photo: VINO
Premier Smith was speaking at his latest One on One session with members of the media on Thursday October 8, 2015 at the Central Administration Complex where he addressed a number of topical issues. Photo: VINO
Premier Smith was speaking at his latest One on One session with members of the media on Thursday October 8, 2015 at the Central Administration Complex where he addressed a number of topical issues. Photo: VINO
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI – Premier Dr The Honourable D. Orlando Smith has slapped down latest suggestions that the Virgin Islands shares a place along with Bermuda and the Cayman islands as the top three ‘notorious’ tax havens in the world.

He was speaking at his latest One on One session with members of the media on Thursday October 8, 2015 at the Central Administration Complex where he addressed a number of topical issues.

A recent report from the Citizens for Tax Justice and the U.S. Public Interest Research Group listed Bermuda, Cayman Islands and Virgin Islands as three of the biggest "tax havens" for US companies.

According to the report, US-controlled companies on the three islands reported $155 billion in profits in 2010, the most recent available data. By comparison, the gross domestic product of those countries that year totaled $10 billion.

Bermuda stood out -- booking about $94 billion in profits, dwarfing its gross domestic product of $6 billion.

According to Premier Smith, since the global financial crisis some years ago, many countries have been looking at ways of increasing revenue.

“That is why they are looking more closely because a lot of what we do in financial services has to do with tax. So because of this they are looking more closely to see what is being done,” said Premier Smith.

He said that NGOs mainly are the ones leading the charge against these Caribbean offshore centres. “[They do so] for various reasons. One of them is that it diverts resources from poorer countries and this has been proven not to be so by studies done. Resources are channelled through financial services to these countries,” he said.

He said that from a regulatory point of view there continues to be review of the industry to ensure transparency and accountability.

Asked whether he thought these attacks were careless or baseless, Premier Smith said that while the persons making the statements would have gone through some kind of research, the Government of the VI has to rebut the statements that are being made.

“As you know people have a right to make statements based on their view of things and it is our responsibility to show the positive side to what we have done and to really promote our jurisdiction as efficiently as we can,” he said.

Asked to say directly whether or not he agreed that the VI was one of the top three tax havens in the world, he responded, “No. But I agree that the BVI is among the top three financial services jurisdictions in the world.”

Premier Smith said that the territory will continue to counter the negative attacks with the knowledge that what is being done is governed by a well-regulated system, better than many other jurisdictions, and also by engaging professionals in the industry who work with Government to create messages to counter the negative ones.

He said that the sector is over 30 years old and everything that is done is well regulated. “This is why we sign Tax Information Exchange Agreements with every country that we do business with. That is why we sign double taxation agreements with these countries as well because we can operate within an agreement with these countries,” said Premier Smith.

16 Responses to “‘I don’t support notion that VI is a notorious tax haven’ – Premier Smith”

  • head stuck in the sand (10/10/2015, 09:51) Like (12) Dislike (1) Reply
    Doc think that he and his regime could fight the super powers???
    • @ head stuck i tthe sand (10/10/2015, 11:19) Like (5) Dislike (1) Reply
      dem even can't fight the lil local media must less the big international press
  • an observation (10/10/2015, 10:07) Like (1) Dislike (6) Reply
    So what's wrong with a "tax haven" anyway? Seems that certain governments have gone crazy against people
    having any money of their own. Economic prosperity is when citizens have money, and that is not going to be
    the case when these governments like the UK or US or France demand everyone hand over their money. Used
    to be called robbery.
    • @ Observation (10/10/2015, 12:42) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
      Maybe you're not aware but when CEO's begin to hide assets and especially I'll gotten gains they place them in places like here or Cayman. Remember Stafford had so much money in tax havens just like here and we all know his story.

      Normally these monies are I'll gotten and taken from the little people. Plus to avoid paying taxes robs the general public of money that can be used to help government programs. Like the roads in Tortola, if everyone here put their money in tax haven how can they fix roads, pay teachers, build schools.

      Please think before you ask dumb questions.
  • Yes (10/10/2015, 10:12) Like (18) Dislike (0) Reply
    Dear Prime Minister, your credibility has been compromised years ago. The fact that you don’t think the BVI being a tax haven has no merit, because no one respects your thoughts or opinions as you have let your underlings/minions discredit and devalue what we all used to think about you.

    But, just to let you know sir, BVI Financial Services is a Tax Haven!!!!!
    • Trump (10/10/2015, 19:50) Like (1) Dislike (3) Reply
      @LOL

      @LOL

      And what if the BVI business companies help American CEO's avoid (not evade) taxes? It is perfectly legal and the US group knows it. Those same CEO's outsource labor to China to avoid local American labor costs. So why don't this US group call China a notorious labor haven and try to harass it?

      And so you know, Doc is right. Technically we are a financial services jurisdiction with the right to enact and regulate our company laws without outside interference.
  • just asking.... (10/10/2015, 11:20) Like (11) Dislike (3) Reply
    who cares what Orlando thinks?
  • Blindman (10/10/2015, 16:54) Like (6) Dislike (1) Reply
    the honourable gentleman, seems to be the embodiment of Rip van Vinkle, the Emperor with the new clothes and other storybook characters all in one.
  • @@ observation (10/10/2015, 17:46) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
    "please think before you ask dumb questions" is your comment at me. You don't know jack about me. You're
    obviously a typical over-focused, under-experienced human. You need to experience a larger part of the picture
    on this world. Some of us are sick of being used as some kind of sacrifice to take everything from. Good day,
    Mr. Human.
  • Really Now (10/10/2015, 19:29) Like (3) Dislike (1) Reply
    Why do the NDP take all of us for stupid? All of is weren't stupid enough to vote them back in. I've talked to many who were in that motorcade who now wish they had no part of it. Dear NDP all of us are as educated as you and in some cases more so please stop being so condensending when speaking to us.
  • Enforcement is Key (10/10/2015, 20:16) Like (3) Dislike (1) Reply
    The BVI as a financial center was built purely on non-disclosure and secrecy. As a Trust practitioner, each day my clients are asking and advising us on their specific country's loop holes into evading as much as possible. Of course we are termed a financial offshore district, formerly called a tax haven.
  • Windy (11/10/2015, 11:52) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    Yep, you're right Doc. It's the rest of the world that's wrong.
  • Ghost (11/10/2015, 11:53) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    And who exactly is fighting international attempts for the creation of a transparent owner of companies register. If it acts like a tax haven, talks like a tax haven , and works like a tax haven, guess what.
  • Noshka (11/10/2015, 15:16) Like (14) Dislike (0) Reply
    The VI is a murder haven to. 30 unsolved in the last 25years. Hmmm.
  • Doc need our support (11/10/2015, 17:07) Like (0) Dislike (2) Reply
    All of you comments make sense, but if our financial services fall apart, how will we manager? It will hit our source of income very hard and then what do we do after that?
    • Real Talk (12/10/2015, 08:04) Like (26) Dislike (0) Reply
      I said it before; BVI has less than 25 years to figure out a new means of financial security beyond tax havens, so called financial services. In the past 1000's of countries provided such services. Now it's less than 50. This NDP party definitely lacks the vision to take us to the next level which needs to start now. Because actions put in place now will affect the next 20 years. Right now the only way they are affecting us is by increasing our debt. Every single project they do runs over budget, and notice I didn’t say most, I said EVERY project. Think about it EVERY project. To this day they haven’t produced one document to explain the budget or cost overruns. This is our tax money they are spending. Never have any documents to back up their numerous costly projects. The NDP are kings of manipulation that’s how they were able to win this second term. That and again spending our tax money frivolously, on votes. However, the bottom is beginning to fall out, or to put it Biblically, “For there is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought out into the open.” Luke 8:17


Create a comment


Create a comment

Disclaimer: Virgin Islands News Online (VINO) welcomes your thoughts, feedback, views, bloggs and opinions. However, by posting a blogg you are agreeing to post comments or bloggs that are relevant to the topic, and that are not defamatory, liable, obscene, racist, abusive, sexist, anti-Semitic, threatening, hateful or an invasion of privacy. Violators may be excluded permanently from making contributions. Please view our declaimer above this article. We thank you in advance for complying with VINO's policy.

Weather


Follow Us On

Disclaimer: All comments posted on Virgin Islands News Online (VINO) are the sole views and opinions of the commentators and or bloggers and do not in anyway represent the views and opinions of the Board of Directors, Management and Staff of Virgin Islands News Online and its parent company.