Barbados to be Shunned as a Tax Haven

French President Nicolas Sarkozy called on Switzerland and ten other so-called tax havens to be "excluded from the international community" for refusing to sign up to an automatic exchange of information agreement.

CANNES, France - French President Nicolas Sarkozy while at the 2011 G20 summit warned that tax havens, including Barbados which has been listed, will be shunned by the international community.

"We don't want any more tax havens. Our message is clear," Sarkozy said

Sarkozy named 11 countries that fail to meet transparency standards: Antigua, Barbados, Botswana, Brunei, Panama, Seychelles, Trinidad and Tobago, Uruguay, Vanuata, Switzerland and Liechtenstein.

The G20 will publish an updated list of uncooperative tax havens at each summit from henceforth, he added.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy called on Switzerland and ten other so-called tax havens to be "excluded from the international community" for refusing to sign up to an automatic exchange of information agreement.

Automatic Tax Information Exchange

The ATIE require governments to collect from financial institutions data on income, gains, and property paid to non-resident individuals, corporations, and trusts. Mandate that data collected automatically be provided to the governments where the non-resident entity is located.

In March, the Jamaica Observer Newspaper had reported Barbados' Finance and Economic Affairs Minister Chris Sinckler as saying that government is not about to "roll over and play dead" while the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) enhances its attempts to blacklist Barbados as an unsafe tax jurisdiction.

He said the latest fiasco in the OECD, which recently said that existing tax laws in Barbados are inadequate, was not only being led by the French and Germans, but was "implicitly sanctioned by others in the G20... part of a campaign to shut Barbados down as an international tax jurisdiction".

He said the OECD's tactics go against the widely held view of Barbados as a responsible tax jurisdiction in the international community and questioned the OECD's motives since the island actively participated in its OECD's Peer Review Committee and was a leading advocate on transparency in tax matters.

"What is even more troubling is the premature and unnecessary rush to judgment by the British Tax Authorities to place Barbados in the so-called Category 3 group of countries, which includes none less than some of the world's uncooperative tax havens," the Finance Minister said.

G20 tax havens blacklist - 2009 London

At the London G20 summit on 2 April 2009, G20 countries agreed to define a blacklist for tax havens, to be segmented according to a four-tier system, based on compliance with an "internationally agreed tax standard."

1 - Those that have substantially implemented the standard.
2 - Tax havens that have committed to - but not yet fully implemented - the standard.
3 - Financial centres that have committed to - but not yet fully implemented - the standard.
4 - Those that have not committed to the standard.

The blacklist was criticized by Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker, stating that it has "no credibility."

"If there must be a blacklist, America should find a place on it," Juncker told the legislators.

"I hear no prime minister besides myself... mentioning this problem," Juncker said. He called on U.K. Prime Minister Gordon Brown, who is hosting the G-20 summit, to "say to [President Barack] Obama to put an end to tax havens that are on American territory."

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