The government of Barbados said today it is "appalled" by the jurisdiction's inclusion on the EU's "reprehensible" update to its blacklisting of tax havens.
In a strongly-worded statement issued this afternoon, Invest Barbados lamented "being penalized for being ‘Partially Compliant' in only three of the ten ‘essential elements' of the OECD's standard."
As reported by International Investment, the EU group of finance ministers yesterday confirmed the addition of Barbados and Anguilla to its notorious listing of tax havens. Oman and the Cayman Islands were removed from the list following reform.
Barbados has always been a country that has maintained the highest international standards."
In its statement Invest Barbados said: "These three areas of partial compliance include availability of ownership and identity information as well as accounting information, and the quality and timeliness of its responses to requests from overseas tax authorities for tax information on Barbados resident taxpayers."
"It is important to note that the Global Forum rated Barbados as compliant in the remaining seven of its essential elements," the statement said.
In an indignant paragraph, the statement says the EU has "chosen to ignore all the work that has been done by the Government of Barbados to correct the deficiencies in the 2015 to 2018 period. Furthermore, the Report released by the EU today insinuates that Barbados still has work to do, relative to its legal framework. This is untrue."
The statement went on to claim Barbados "is being punished today with the imposition of enhanced due diligence measures on our financial sector to see if we will do what we say we will do. In normal times, this might be regarded as bullying."
The Barbados government, through its Ministry of International Business and Industry, confirmed it will be filing a request for a Supplementary Review from the Global Forum on the grounds that the deficiencies identified in its report have already been addressed through the passage of time. Barbados has and continues to demonstrate efficiency.
The statement explained, "This is because Barbados has always been a country that has maintained the highest international standards. However, it is regrettable that it has been made clear that, irrespective of the outcome of Barbados' request for a Supplementary Review, the new ranking will remain until the next meeting of EU's Council, in February 2021."
"Barbados has strenuously objected to the decision made by the EU and has written to both the president of the European Council and President of the Council of the EU, chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, expressing its grave attrition over the action taken by the EU."