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Companies Act amended to minimise tax evasion

Article taken from the Midweek Nation – January 25, 2023

THE COMPANIES ECONOMIC ACT has been amended to provide legal cover for local financial regulatory authorities which will have the responsibility of transferring data from offshore companies operating in Barbados, to the jurisdiction where the beneficial owners are located.

The House of Assembly yesterday passed the Companies (Economic Substance) (Amendment) Bill 2023, an amendment to the Companies Economic Substance Act, a measure which Minister of State in the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Business Development, Sandra Husbands said was designed “to ensure that the company is complying with the regulations and to minimise the incidence of tax evasion.”

In her brief presentation, the St James South MP noted Barbados continued “to strive to bring economic growth and development to enable its citizens to have the opportunities to be able to advance their social prosperity.” The financial services sector was one of the key sectors aimed at achieving this.

Husbands told the House: “What we are seeking to do now, is to defend this sector and try to advance the necessary regulatory framework on compliance, so that it can continue to serve this nation. There are constant demands for changes coming from external sources that affect this sector and as a result Barbados is always on a continuous role of trying to maintain compliance with these constant changing requirements.”

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She said Government had recently taken some action in accordance with the demands.

“One of the things recently was the demand that we harmonise between foreign and domestic businesses and to put them on the same taxation platform. Another recent one was the request for economic substance to be present in the operations of those entities registered in Barbados.”

Husbands explained there was the demand for reporting on the activities of these entities “to demonstrate that they are operating within the bounds of the laws that govern the particular sector.”



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