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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 - Bahamas

This report for Bahamas, The has been published on 5 May 2011. 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.   It is unclear whether an exemption for investment funds in the Security Commission's Guidelines is subordinate to the more general requirement in AML regulations for ownership and identity information. Whether an exemption does exist is particularly relevant for determining ownership and identity information requirements for self-administered private funds.  The Bahamas should ensure that any exemption in respect of investment funds is consistent with the AML regulations to ensure that all such funds are subject to appropriate ownership and identity requirements.  
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.   All relevant entities and arrangements including international business companies, registered private and foreign-incorporated companies, authorised purpose trusts and foundations are not subject to express obbligations to maintain reliable accounting records for a minimum five year period.  The Bahamas should ensure that reliable accounting records, including underlying documentation, are required to be kept in respect of all relevant entities and arrangements for a minimum five year period. 
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.   In the case of the US TIEA Act, The Bahamas does not have the power to obtain and provide information held outside of The Bahamas, even if such information is in the control of a person within its territorial jurisdiction.  The Bahamas should ensure that it has the power to access information sought under its TIEA with the US which is controlled by persons in The Bahamas, even if it is located extra-territorially. 
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.   In the case of information exchange with all EOI partners except with the US, the competent authority is required to retain information provided to him where a taxpayer or interested person has sought judicial review or other legal recourse. Under the domestic law concering information exchange with the US, the Minister has discretion whether to withhold the exchange of information which he has accessed.  THe Bahamas should ensure that its domestic law provisions are compatible with the timely access and exchange of information with alla of its EOI partners. 
Exchange of information mechanisms should provide for effective exchange of information. (ToR C.1)
Determination Factors Recommendations
The element is in place.      
The jurisdictions' network of information exchange mechanisms should cover all relevant partners. (ToR C.2)
Determination Factors Recommendations
The element is in place.     The Bahamas should continue to develop its EOI 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.      
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.