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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: Barbados Phase 2 review

This report for Barbados has been published on 24 Apr 2014. 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.   There are currently no penalties for non-compliance with obligations to maintain up to date share registers in the case of companies and SRLs.  In so far as penalties are not currently provided, effective sanctions should be introduced against companies and SRLs that fail to comply with requirements to maintain share registers. 
Phase 2 Rating Factors Recommendations
Largely Compliant.   The Ministry in charge of International Business does not have a system of monitoring the compliance with ownership and identity information keeping requirements in respect of all international entities and penalties for non-compliance are unenforced in practice. Whilst the international entities are regulated the Ministry has failed to take practical compliance measures to supervise and monitor the obligations placed on International entities.  Effective enforcement measures should be taken to ensure that all entities comply with their requirements to maintain ownership information. 
Jurisdictions should ensure that reliable accounting records are kept for all relevant entities and arrangements. (ToR A.2)
Determination Factors Recommendations
The element is in place, but certain aspects of the legal implementation of the element need improvement.   Barbados legislation does not ensure that reliable accounting records or underlying documentation are kept for all trusts.  All relevant entities and arrangements should be required to maintain reliable accounting records including underlying documentation for a minimum of 5 years. 
Phase 2 Rating Factors Recommendations
Largely Compliant.      
Banking information should be available for all account-holders. (ToR A.3)
Determination Factors Recommendations
The element is in place.      
Phase 2 Rating Factors Recommendations
Compliant.      
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.   Relevant laws are not unequivocally drafted as to whether trustees of international trusts and registered unit trusts are or not prohibited to disclose to any other person the name of the settlor or any beneficiary, or any information relating to or forming part of the accounts of an international trust.  The Barbadian authorities should continue working towards clarifying that the competent authority has power to access confidential information covered by the International Trust Act and the Mutual Funds Act. 
Phase 2 Rating Factors Recommendations
Largely Compliant.      
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.      
Phase 2 Rating Factors Recommendations
Compliant.      
Exchange of information mechanisms should provide for effective exchange of information. (ToR C.1)
Determination Factors Recommendations
The element is in place.   Five DTCs limit exchange of information (i) to information for carrying out the provisions of the Convention, and/or (ii) by failing to provide for exchange of bank information.  Barbados should continue to revise its existing treaties in line with the international standard where they do not currently meet that standard. 
Phase 2 Rating Factors Recommendations
Largely Compliant.   During the period under review, two of Barbados’ treaties limited the scope of exchange for offshore entities. In the case of one treaty, these limitations led to Barbados not answering two requests (one declined for valid reasons and the other because of a restrictive interpretation of the treaty). Barbados already took action by upgrading the two relevant treaties, which entered into force after the period under review.  Barbados should continue to revise its existing treaties in line with the international standards where they do not currently meet that standard, and ensure that they are interpreted in accordance with the standard. 
The jurisdictions' network of information exchange mechanisms should cover all relevant partners. (ToR C.2)
Determination Factors Recommendations
The element is not in place.   A number of DTCs of Barbados do not meet the international standard (see C.1).  Barbados should continue to revise its existing treaties in line with the international standard where they do not currently meet that standard. 
Barbados has been approached by five jurisdictions to negotiate TIEAs or protocols to DTCs, but has not been diligent in answering these requests, or persists preferring DTA negotiations. TIEA initialled two years ago have also not been signed yet.  Barbados should continue to enter into agreements for exchange of information (whether DTCs, TIEAs or multilateral instruments) with all relevant partners, meaning those partners who are interested in entering into an information exchange arrangement with it. 
Phase 2 Rating Factors Recommendations
Non-Compliant.      
   
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.      
Phase 2 Rating Factors Recommendations
Compliant.      
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.      
Phase 2 Rating Factors Recommendations
Compliant.      
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.      
Phase 2 Rating Factors Recommendations
Partially Compliant.   During the three years under review, Barbados rarely provided an update or status report to its EOI partners within 90 days when the competent authority was unable to provide a substantive response within that time. In some cases updates were also not provided despite repeated reminders from the EOI partner. The monitoring of requests has nonetheless improved more recently, with the creation of a dedicated EOI Unit.  Barbados should systematically provide an update or status report to its EOI partners within 90 days when the competent authority is unable to provide a substantive response within that time. 
Barbados has experienced some difficulties during the review period to answer EOI requests in a timely manner. This was due to a lack of dedicated personnel in the EOI unit for over a year. The resources devoted to EOI and processes have been greatly improved towards the end of the period.  Barbados should ensure that answers to EOI requests are made in a timely manner in all cases.