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The Exchange of Tax Information Portal is an initiative of the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes. The Global Forum conducts peer reviews of its member jurisdictions' ability to co-operate with other tax administrations in accordance with the internationally agreed standard. The standard provides for exchange of information on request where it is foreseeably relevant to the administration and enforcement of the domestic tax laws of the requesting jurisdiction. Effective exchange of information requires that jurisdictions ensure information is available, that it can be obtained by the tax authorities and that there are mechanisms in place allowing for the exchange of that information. The Global Forum's peer review process examines both the legal and regulatory aspects of exchange (Phase 1 reviews) and the exchange of information in practice (Phase 2). The EOI Portal will track the development of these peer reviews, including changes that jurisdictions make in response to the Global Forum's recommendations.

Peer Review: Peer Review Report Phase 1 Legal and Regulatory Framework - Saint Lucia

This report for Saint Lucia has been published on 20 Jun 2012. You can buy this report, or browse it online below.

Skip directly to the Executive Summary. You may also want to view the tables of determinations and ratings.


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Determinations and Recommendations

Jurisdictions should ensure that ownership and identity information for all relevant entities and arrangements is available to their competent authorities. (ToR A.1)
Determination Factors Recommendations
The element is in place.   The obligation for a company formed under the laws of another CARICOM or OECS member state, but carrying on business in Saint Lucia, to ensure the availability of ownership information is not clear.  Saint Lucia should ensure that for companies formed under the laws of a CARICOM or OECS member state and carrying on business in Saint Lucia, there are clear obligations for ownership information to be maintained. 
Jurisdictions should ensure that reliable accounting records are kept for all relevant entities and arrangements. (ToR A.2)
Determination Factors Recommendations
The element is not in place.   International Business Companies are exempt from the record-keeping obligations of the Income Tax Act, and otherwise are only required to keep such accounting records as their directors think fit. Pursuant to the AML regime, some relevant accounting records for transactions conducted by the IBC through their registered agent or other AML Service Provider will be required to be kept. However this will not ensure all relevant accounting records are maintained.  Saint Lucia should introduce requirements to ensure that IBCs are in all instances subject to requirements to keep relevant accounting records, including underlying documentation, for a minimum five year period. 
International Partnerships are exempt from the record keeping requirements of the Income Tax Act. They will only be subject to the accounting record obligations established by the Commercial Code which requires partners to render “true accounts and full information” of all things affecting the partnership. There is no express requirement to keep such records for any minimum period of time. Pursuant to the AML regime, some relevant accounting records will be required to be kept in respect of the transactions conducted by the International Partnership through its registered agent or other AML Service Provider. However this will not ensure all relevant accounting records are maintained.  Saint Lucia should ensure that International Partnerships are subject to a requirement to keep reliable accounting information, including underlying documentation for a minimum period of five years. 
Trusts will be subject to the common law obligations to keep records relating to the trust, although the scope of those accounting record obligations were not ascertainable. Further, certain ordinary trusts will also be subject to the Income Tax record-keeping obligations. Trusts which engage an AML Service Provider will be required to keep some relevant accounting records, however these obligations will not ensure that all relevant accounting information is kept in respect of trusts created under the laws of Saint Lucia, or which are administered from or have a trustee resident in Saint Lucia.  Saint Lucia should ensure that trusts which are established under its laws, administered from, or with a trustee resident in Saint Lucia, are subject to requirements in all instances to keep reliable accounting information, including underlying documentation for a minimum period of 5 years.  
Banking information should be available for all account-holders. (ToR A.3)
Determination Factors Recommendations
The element is in place.      
Competent authorities should have the power to obtain and provide information that is the subject of a request under an exchange of information arrangement from any person within their territorial jurisdiction who is in possession or control of such information (irrespective of any legal obligation on such person to maintain the secrecy of the information). (ToR B.1)
Determination Factors Recommendations
The element is in place, but certain aspects of the legal implementation of the element need improvement.   It is unclear from the wording of the Comptroller’s general access power under section 87(1) whether the power permits access even though there may be no domestic tax interest in the information.   Saint Lucia should clarify the Comptroller’s powers to access all relevant information, regardless of the existence of a domestic tax interest in that information.  
It is not unequivocally established that the Comptroller would be a person “legally entitled” to access confidential information pertaining to International Trusts.  Saint Lucia should clarify that the Comptroller will be a person “legally entitled” to access information regarding International Trusts, notwithstanding the general obligation of confidentiality which applies to such information.  
Attorney-client privilege protects all the secrets and confidences of an attorney’s client. This would cover information more broadly than the international standard which is restricted to communications produced for the purposes of seeking or providing legal advice, or use in existing or contemplated legal proceedings.  Saint Lucia should ensure that the scope of attorney-client privilege in domestic law permits access to relevant information otherwise protected by the privilege, to the extent required under the international standard.  
The rights and safeguards (e.g. notification, appeal rights) that apply to persons in the requested jurisdiction should be compatible with effective exchange of information. (ToR B.2)
Determination Factors Recommendations
The element is in place.      
Exchange of information mechanisms should provide for effective exchange of information. (ToR C.1)
Determination Factors Recommendations
The element is in place, but certain aspects of the legal implementation of the element need improvement.   Exchange of information under all of Saint Lucia’s EOI agreements may be limited by the uncertainty concerning the existence of a domestic tax interest in the general access power of section 87(1) of the Income Tax Act. There is however no domestic tax interest with respect the power to access bank information.  Saint Lucia should take steps to clarify its general powers to access information for EOI purposes notwithstanding the absence of a domestic tax interest in the information. 
Saint Lucia’s agreements do not in all cases provide for exchange of information to the standard due to impediments to exchange of information in some of the signatories domestic laws.   Saint Lucia should work with the relevant treaty partners to ensure that these restrictions are removed to permit the effective exchange of information. 
The jurisdictions' network of information exchange mechanisms should cover all relevant partners. (ToR C.2)
Determination Factors Recommendations
The element is in place.     Saint Lucia should continue to develop its exchange of information network with all relevant partners. 
The jurisdictions' mechanisms for exchange of information should have adequate provisions to ensure the confidentiality of information received. (ToR C.3)
Determination Factors Recommendations
The element is in place.      
The exchange of information mechanisms should respect the rights and safeguards of taxpayers and third parties. (ToR C.4)
Determination Factors Recommendations
The element is in place, but certain aspects of the legal implementation of the element need improvement.   The scope of legal privilege under Saint Lucia’s domestic law is broad, and includes information where a lawyer is acting in a fiduciary, agency or nominee capacity. This definition is applicable for EOI purposes, and is the scope of the privilege is not consistent with the international standard.  Saint Lucia should take steps to ensure that the scope of legal privilege in its domestic law does not prevent the exchange of information as required for under its EOI agreements and the international standard.  
The jurisdiction should provide information under its network of agreements in a timely manner. (ToR C.5)
Determination Factors Recommendations
The assessment team is not in a position to evaluate whether this element is in place, as it involves issues of practice that are dealt with in the Phase 2 review.