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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 - Montserrat

This report for Montserrat 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, but certain aspects of the legal implementation of the element need improvement.   The Companies Act differentiates between shareholders and members, the difference being that only the latter are registered with the company. It remains unclear whether identity information on shareholders is maintained by the company or any public authority in Montserrat.   Montserrat should ensure that full ownership information on Montserratian companies is available, whether the owner is qualified as member or shareholder.  
Companies incorporated outside Montserrat which have their effective place of management and control in Montserrat (and thus tax resident there) are not expressly required to keep ownership information.  Montserrat should ensure the availability of ownership information of all foreign companies with sufficient nexus to Montserrat.  
Montserrat law only requires a service provider to obtain identity information on beneficiaries of a trust in cases of a higher level of risk for AML/CFT purposes.  Montserrat should ensure that trustees in Montserrat maintain identity information on the beneficiaries of trusts in all cases. 
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.   Montserrat’s legislation does not clearly provide for detailed and adequate accounting records on LLCs that operate outside Montserrat.  Montserrat should ensure that all LLCs must keep accounting records that are sufficient to record and explain the transactions and that at any time enable the financial position of the entity to be determined with reasonable accuracy  
There is no express requirement that any relevant entities and arrangements keep underlying documentation.  Montserrat should introduce binding requirements on all relevant entities to maintain relevant underlying documentation for at least five years. 
Only the entities covered by the record keeping obligations of the tax law are required to retain accounting records for a minimum 5 year period.   Montserrat should ensure that its laws require that accounting records, including underlying documentation, are kept for all entities for a minimum 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.      
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.   The prior notification procedure in civil tax matters only allows for an exception when the whereabouts of the taxpayer are not disclosed to the competent authority.  It is recommended that wider exceptions from prior notification be permitted in civil tax matters (e.g. in cases in which the information request is of a very urgent nature or the notification is likely to undermine the chance of the success of the investigation conducted by the requesting jurisdiction). 
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.     Montserrat should continue to develop its network of EOI mechanisms 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.