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SVG successfully completes Phase 2 Peer Review on Tax Transparency by OECD


St Vincent and the Grenadines has successfully completed the second phase of its assessment or ‘Peer Review’ undertaken by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes. SVG’s success in this two-part Review importantly signifies that this country’s legal, regulatory and practical framework for tax transparency in general meets international standards.{{more}}

The OECD is the ‘international tax setter’ – the world’s leading organization involved in the promotion of international standards of transparency and exchange of information for tax purposes. The Global Forum, an internal arm of the OECD, is responsible for ensuring the implementation of global tax transparency, and as such, is involved in evaluations or ‘peer reviews’ to determine the actual implementation of the standards of tax transparency and exchange of information in its 123 Member countries. The Global Forum has been conducting Peer Reviews in two phases: Phase 1, which assesses the quality of a jurisdiction’s legal and regulatory framework for the exchange of information, and Phase 2 which assesses the practical implementation of that framework.

In 2012, SVG completed its Phase 1 Review with very positive results. Out of nine areas which were assessed relative to the country’s legal framework, eight were found to be in place. The one legal deficiency was appropriately addressed in good time for consideration in its Phase 2 Review. SVG’s Phase 2 Review took place from December 2013 to September 2014, and included an on-site visit by assessors from Mauritius, Argentina and the Global Forum Secretariat, in February, 2014. Following the recent finalization of a report on its Phase 2 assessment, SVG received an overall country rating of ‘Largely Compliant’.

Like the Phase 1 result, this Phase 2 outcome is extremely positive. SVG’s success at these two assessments demonstrates internationally, not only the country’s commitment to globally accepted standards on tax offences and tax information exchange, but also that its implementation of a tax information exchange regime is efficient and effective. SVG’s reputation as a financial services centre, as well as its reputation for transparent international investment, are enhanced by the outcome of these assessments.

The relevant stakeholders involved in these Peer Reviews are the Ministry of Finance (Minister of Finance as the Competent Authority for the Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes), the Attorney General’s Chambers, the Inland Revenue Department, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Commerce and Intellectual Property and the Financial Services Authority.

SVG continues to work with the Global Forum towards strengthening its tax transparency regime and to maintain and continuously enhance the integrity of its financial sector and reputation for sound international investment.