More objections to A&B being listed as tax haven

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Antigua & Barbuda, on Wednesday, launched what government said was a strong objection with the US State of Illinois, which has introduced legislation, listing the twin island state and 10 Caricom countries as tax havens.

In letters to the Speaker of the House of Represen-tatives of the Illinois General Assembly, Michael Madigan and House Representative Leader, Jim Durkin, Antigua & Barbuda’s Ambassador to the US Sir Ronald Sanders said that the listing is a matter that needs immediate corrective attention as it poses severe threats to the twin island’s economy and the well-being of its people.

In his letters of objection, Sir Ronald sought to back up his claim, by saying that in February 2014, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), on whose decision-making council the Government of the United States sits, declared Antigua & Barbuda to be fully compliant and co-operative with the international standards, that it has established.

Sir Ronald further pointed out that on the international level, Antigua & Barbuda became a signatory to the Common Reporting Standard in 2016, under which it is legally bound to report on bank accounts and other assets held in the country, to the tax authorities of the originating country.

 With regards to Antigua & Barbuda’s relations with the US, Sir Ronald said that the country has a Tax Information Exchange Agreement with the US, which has been enforced since February 10, 2003. 

This agreement, he said, “has worked to the satisfaction of the Government of the United States and its agencies, and no request to Antigua & Barbuda for information has been denied”.

 The country’s ambassador to the US also highlighted the fact that Antigua & Barbuda and the United States have concluded an Inter-Governmental Agreement, facilitating implementation of the provisions of the US Foreign Account Tax Compliance ACT (FATCA). 

This agreement, he noted in his letter came into effect in February of this year.

 According to him, naming Antigua & Barbuda as a tax haven by the State Legislature of Illinois would have devastating effects on the correspondent banking relations between the US and local banks.

More in today’s Daily Observer

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