x

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: Antigua and Barbuda Phase 2 Report

This report for Antigua and Barbuda has been published on 4 Aug 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.


loading...


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.      
Phase 2 Rating Factors Recommendations
Largely Compliant.  During the review period, Antigua and Barbuda did not have a regular oversight program in place to monitor the compliance of the obligations to maintain ownership and identity information and penalties for non-compliance were unenforced in practice. Antigua and Barbuda plans to commence the oversight program for service providers in 2014.  Antigua and Barbuda should put in place an oversight program to ensure the compliance of the obligations to maintain ownership and identity information for all relevant entities and arrangements and exercise its enforcement powers as appropriate to ensure that such information is available in practice. 
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.   It is not clear whether the accounting obligations applicable to IBCs and ordinary trusts not carrying on business in Antigua and Barbuda cover underlying documentation and a minimum record retention period of five years. Moreover, there are no penalties for non-compliance with the obligation to keep accounting records.  Antigua and Barbuda should amend and clarify its laws to ensure that there are clear and comprehensive legal obligations requiring IBCs and ordinary trusts not carrying on business in Antigua and Barbuda to keep reliable accounting records; meeting the requirements of the Terms of Reference in all cases for at least five years. In addition, appropriate sanctions for instances of non-compliance should be established. 
Phase 2 Rating Factors Recommendations
Non-Compliant.  During the review period, Antigua and Barbuda did not have a regular oversight program in place to monitor the compliance of the accounting record keeping obligations. In addition, there are no sanctions for non-compliance with the accounting record keeping obligations under the relevant laws.  Antigua and Barbuda should put in place an oversight program to monitor the compliance of the obligations to maintain accounting records. Antigua and Barbuda should also ensure that there are effective sanctions for non-compliance of the accounting record keeping obligations under the relevant laws and should exercise its enforcement powers to ensure that accounting records for all relevant entities are available in practice. 
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.      
Phase 2 Rating Factors Recommendations
Largely Compliant.  The competent authority did not exercise its access powers to obtain information from third parties as it considered that this was not required to reply to the few EOI requests received by the competent authority during the review period. In addition, the amendments introduced to the IBCA, ILLCA, IFA and the ITA that were reviewed in the supplementary review in 2012 to remove the impediments relating to the access powers of the competent authority were not yet tested in practice.  Antigua and Barbuda should monitor the effectiveness of its access powers to obtain information from third parties when it receives EOI requests requiring the use of these access powers. 
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.      
Phase 2 Rating Factors Recommendations
Compliant.     
The jurisdictions' network of information exchange mechanisms should cover all relevant partners. (ToR C.2)
Determination Factors Recommendations
The element is in place.     Antigua and Barbuda 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. 
Phase 2 Rating Factors Recommendations
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
Largely Compliant.  There is no known government policy governing the use of public email account and the type of information that may be transmitted via the public email account. There have also been instances where the competent authority sent confidential information (i.e. response to an EOI requests) to its EOI partners via a public email account without prior agreement with such EOI partners and without any level of encryption.  If the need to communicate confidential information with its EOI partners via email arises, Antigua and Barbuda should only use encrypted or secured email.  
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.   Antigua and Barbuda’s 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 Antigua and Barbuda in noncriminal cases.  It is recommended that the TIEA with Liechtenstein be updated to allow appropriate exceptions to the requirement to notify taxpayers in noncriminal cases. 
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
Largely Compliant.  There were some issues concerning communication as both Antigua and Barbuda and its EOI partners have experienced lost mails in their previous exchanges.  Antigua and Barbuda should strengthen communication with its EOI partners. 
As the MLU was established in October 2013, after the review period, the operation and efficiency of the MLU could not be assessed. There were also no established or written procedures of how an EOI request should be handled when the on-site visit was conducted. During the period of review, Antigua and Barbuda has not responded to one of the four EOI requests it received. This request was cancelled by the requesting jurisdiction after two years. Moreover, Antigua and Barbuda not provided an update on the status of the requests when it has been unable to provide the information requested within 90 days.  Antigua and Barbuda should monitor the functioning of the new MLU and complete the drafting of the EOI manual so as to clearly set out the duties, responsibilities of the relevant officers and the processes to be followed in handling with incoming EOI requests (including providing status updates to its EOI partners if an EOI request cannot be responded to within 90 days) to ensure that requests can be replied effectively and in a timely manner.