OECD Commends British Virgin Islands Transparency Standards

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oecdThe Government of the Virgin Islands has announced that the British Virgin Islands has been rated “Largely Compliant” for its approach to tax transparency and exchange of information.

The rating appears in the Supplementary Peer Review report published by The Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes (“Global Forum”), a taskforce set up by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in Paris.

The Global Forum’s peer review of the BVI analysed the practical implementation of the jurisdiction’s exchange of information framework. The review commended the quality of the BVI’s responses to exchange of information requests, as well as the timeliness of responses in relation to the number of requests received.

Commenting on the positive rating, Premier and Minister of Finance, Dr. the Honourable D. Orlando Smith, OBE said, “The BVI has a long track-record of meeting and exceeding the highest international regulatory and transparency standards and we continue to do so today.  We are very pleased that this has been recognised by the OECD.”

He added, “The BVI has been a pioneering global financial centre for over 30 years and this latest endorsement demonstrates how the jurisdiction continues to evolve and maintain its competitive advantage.  We remain committed to engaging the OECD and our other international partners to help exceed and enhance international standards of tax transparency and regulation.”

The BVI is a constructive and co-operative partner on Transparency and Information Exchange within the OECD. It has signed 27 Tax Information Exchange Agreements (TIEAs) to date, and is an early adopter of the new global standard on the automatic exchange of information.

These efforts have also been recognised by the governments of several G8 and G20 countries, and have met the standards set by international organisations including International Monetary Fund (IMF) and Financial Action Task Force (FATF).

The Global Forum is the world’s largest international tax group, with 127 members, and the preeminent organisation for ensuring the implementation of the internationally agreed standards of transparency and exchange of information.  Through an in-depth peer review process, the Global Forum monitors its members implementation of internationally agreed standards.

The forum carries out two phases of reviews as part of the peer review process. Phase one is concerned with the quality of a jurisdiction’s legal and regulatory framework while phase two review looks at the practical implementation of that framework. The recent BVI report was a phase two review. The Global Forum’s Supplementary Peer Review on the BVI can be found here.

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