ST. KITTS AND NEVIS IMPLEMENTS ALL NECESSARY REFORMS TO COMPLY WITH EU TAX GOOD GOVERNANCE PRINCIPLES

Basseterre, St. Kitts, February 18, 2020 (SKNIS): St. Kitts and Nevis has not been included in the 2020 EU list of non-cooperative jurisdictions for tax purposes because the Dr. Harris-led Team Unity Administration “managed to implement all the necessary reforms to comply with EU tax good governance principles.”

St. Kitts and Nevis was previously in the category of Annex II, which has to do with jurisdictions that do not yet comply with all international tax standards, but which are committed to reform, considered cooperative and included in a state of play document. The Council’s code of conduct group on business taxation monitors that jurisdictions enact the necessary reforms by the agreed deadlines. Once a jurisdiction meets all its commitments, it is removed from Annex II.

A number of bills were passed in the National Assembly on Thursday 23rd January 2020. These bills were Virtual Assets Bill, 2020; Money Services (Amendment) Bill, 2019; Anti-Money Laundering (National Committee) Bill, 2019; Non-Governmental Organizations (Amendment) Bill, 2019; and Proceeds of Crime and Asset Recovery Bill, 2019. On December 23, 2019, the Fiscal Incentives (Amendment) Bill, 2019, was passed.

In a press release from the European Council dated 18th February 2020 titled Taxation: Council revises its EU list of non-cooperative jurisdictions, it stated that 16 jurisdictions including St. Kitts and Nevis “passed the necessary reforms to deliver on their commitments” and “most of the deadline extensions concern developing countries without a financial centre who have already made meaningful progress in the delivery of their commitments.”

The other 15 jurisdictions that met the deadline are Antigua and Barbuda, Armenia, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cabo Verde, Cook Islands, Curaçao, Marshall Islands, Montenegro, Nauru, Niue, and Vietnam.

According to Zdravko Marić, Croatian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, “The work on the list of non-cooperative tax jurisdictions is based on a thorough process of assessment, monitoring and dialogue with about 70 third country jurisdictions. Since we started this exercise, 49 countries have implemented the necessary tax reforms to comply with the EU’s criteria. This is an undeniable success. But it is also work in progress and a dynamic process where our methodology and criteria are constantly reviewed.”

The EU press release stated: “The list of non-cooperative tax jurisdictions, which is part of the EU’s external strategy for taxation as defined by the Council, is intended to contribute to ongoing efforts to promote tax good governance worldwide. It was first established in December 2017 and is based on a continuous and dynamic process of establishing criteria in line with international tax standards; screening countries against these criteria; engaging with countries which do not comply; listing and delisting countries as they commit or take action to comply; monitoring developments to ensure jurisdictions do not backtrack on previous reforms.”