The British Virgin Islands (BVI) International Tax Authority (ITA) Director met with the financial services industry to discuss new legislative updates and compliance with international standards for tax purposes.

ITA Director LaToya James spoke at the BVI Finance Breakfast Forum on 21 July where she explained the ITA’s role and provided context on the recent amendments being made to the International Tax Authority Act, the Mutual Legal Assistance Act, the BVI Business Companies Act and other relative legislation, and how the amendments will affect the financial services industry and clients.

She explained that the BVI’s membership in the OECD’s Inclusive Framework on the Base Erosion and Profit Sharing (BEPS) and membership in the OECD Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax purposes, requires the BVI to implement the four minimum standards that provide governments the tools needed to tackle tax avoidance. These are, Countering Harmful Tax Practices; the Prevention of Tax Treaty Abuse; the Country-by-Country reporting; and the Mutual Agreement Procedures.

James said that the BVI remains committed to exchanging information automatically under the Automatic Exchange of Information (AEOI) standard amid the ongoing OECD reviews stating, “Between October 2021 to present, the BVI has been a part of eight different reviews covering these areas. While some of these reviews are new to us [the BVI], others are a continuation of what we [the BVI] have been previously implementing.”

“We encourage the industry to get familiar with the amendments, which may affect them and their clients differently.” She said, adding that the ITA is always eager to discuss these matters with the industry and move forward.

The BVI International Tax Authority (ITA) is responsible for ensuring that the BVI is fully compliant with international standards of transparency and exchange of information for tax purposes. The ITA is also responsible for negotiating tax information exchange agreements and dealing with all practical aspects of tax information exchange.