The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) has expressed concern that the “tax havens” label is again being attached to the financial services centres in member states, following the leak of the so-called Panama Papers.
In a statement issued yesterday, CARICOM said the loose use of the designation ignores the reality that the regulation of this sector in the region is fully compliant with international standards.
It stressed that all CARICOM Member States and Associate Members are committed to, and are in compliance with, the international certification process of the IMF/World Bank Financial Sector Assessment Programme (FSAP), the Global Forum of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the Financial Action Task Force and the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF).
“Bilateral commitments have also been made under the United States implementation regime for the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA),” it added.
“As more disclosures unfold with respect to the leak of these financial records, CARICOM urges caution by those making the leap towards moral indignation and the unjust labelling of the financial services centres in the Community, which have taken all necessary steps to ensure compliance with international regulations and standards.”
The Panama Papers are a leaked set of 11.5 million confidential documents that provide detailed information about more than 214,000 offshore companies across the world, including in the Caribbean, listed by Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca.
The documents show how some wealthy individuals, including public officials, have hidden their money to avoid paying taxes. (Caribbean360.c0m)