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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: Phase 1 Peer review Report Legal and Regulatory Framework - St Vincent and Grenadines

This report for Saint Vincent and the Grenadines has been published on 5 Apr 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, but certain aspects of the legal implementation of the element need improvement.   While IBCs and LLCs must have AML-regulated service providers who are obliged to identify all the beneficial owners of the IBCs and LLCs they act for, the service providers need not maintain information on the changes to the beneficial owners of the IBCs and LLCs in all cases.  Up to date ownership and identity information should be available for all IBCs and LLCs. 
It is possible for relevant foreign companies (i.e. those effectively managed from Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and therefore resident there) to be exempted from registration requirements; such foreign companies need not submit or maintain information on their owners.  Ownership and identity information should be available for all foreign companies having a sufficient nexus with St Vincent and the Grenadines.  
The law is silent as to whether service providers remain liable for any client identification that is not carried out by the introducing institution, especially if the institution is a foreign institution.  Introduce relevant enforcement provisions to ensure that ownership information is available where an introducing institution is relied upon to carry out client identification. 
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 and Limited Liability Companies are not required to keep adequate and reliable accounting records. While these entities are required to have at least one AML-regulated registered agent who must keep relevant accounting records, not all transactions need to be conducted through these registered agents. Full accounting information may therefore not be available.  Introduce legislation that ensures that reliable accounting information is available for International Business Companies and Limited Liability Companies. 
Co-operatives are not required to keep adequate and reliable accounting records.  Ensure that reliable accounting information is available for co-operatives. 
Banking information should be available for all account-holders. (ToR A.3)
Determination Factors Recommendations
The element is in place.   It is not clear whether there are enforcement provisions to ensure that information on bank account holders is available where the account holder is introduced by a foreign AML-regulated institution.  Introduce relevant provisions to ensure that information on all bank account holders is available in all instances. 
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.      
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.   Some of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines’ DTCs do not meet the international standard due to restrictions on access to bank and fiduciary information and/or a domestic interest requirement in its DTC partners’ domestic laws.   Saint Vincent and the Grenadines should work with the relevant DTC partners to ensure that these restrictions are removed.  
The jurisdictions' network of information exchange mechanisms should cover all relevant partners. (ToR C.2)
Determination Factors Recommendations
The element is in place.     Saint Vincent and the Grenadines should continue to develop its exchange of information network with all relevant partners and take all steps necessary to bring concluded agreements into effect as quickly as possible. 
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.   Saint Vincent and the Grenadines law allows information that is obtained pursuant to its EOI agreements to be disclosed to persons employed or authorised by the government of the requesting party to oversee data protection. This disclosure does not require the express written consent of the EOI partner providing the information.  Ensure that any future disclosure of information to the proposed data protection agency is in line with the international standard. 
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.   Saint Vincent and the Grenadines’ TIEA with Liechtenstein requires the requesting state to notify the taxpayer of its intent to make a request whenever the investigation does not relate to a criminal case. This can potentially prevent or delay the exchange of information by Saint Vincent and the Grenadines in non-criminal cases.  It is recommended that the TIEA with Liechtenstein be updated to allow appropriate exceptions to the requirement to notify taxpayers in non-criminal cases. 
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.