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Parliament paves way for data transfer to foreign jurisdictions

Article taken from Barbados Today – January 24, 2023

Barbados is continually improving legislation governing the international business sector in an effort to meet international standards.

The latest legislative amendment gives legal authority to how data is transferred between the Barbados Revenue Authority (BRA) and international entities operating here.

This was outlined by Minister of State in the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Business Development, Sandra Husbands, as she piloted an amendment to the Companies (Economic Substance) Bill, 2023 in the House of Assembly on Tuesday.

Speaking in Parliament, Husbands said there had been a recent demand to “harmonise” between foreign businesses and domestic businesses and to put them on the same taxation platform.

She said there had also been a request for “economic substance” to be present in the operations of entities registered in Barbados.

“Because of the requirement to demonstrate economic substance, it requires that there is a reporting on the activities of these entities to demonstrate that they are operating within the bounds of the laws that govern this particular sector and that they are meeting the economic substance compliance requirements that are put upon it.

“And so, Barbados is obligated to be able to report on these entities that are registered here to demonstrate the transparency of the compliance by companies and also to demonstrate where we have had to place penalties on entities that have not quite met the requirements for operating in the sector,”

Husbands said.

“This requires the transfer of data between our domestic jurisdiction or entities here and to transfer this data to the jurisdiction where this particular company is resident. This is to enable their jurisdiction to be assured that they are complying with the regulations and to minimise the incidence of tax evasion.”

Husbands said it was absolutely necessary to put the legal framework in place to allow the international business units here and the BRA to be able to transfer data from our jurisdiction and theirs.

“It gives the authority for the BRA to do all that is necessary in terms of the transmission of that data so we would be in compliance with the international rules governing the financial services sector,” she added. (RB)

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