The Bahamas Government has reported that its French counterpart has removed the country from a list of non-cooperative jurisdictions in tax matters.
According to The Bahamas’ minister of state for finance Senator J Kwasi Thompson, the announcement represents “the culmination of extensive bilateral discussions with the French Government since we were first listed in December 2019”.
On an annual basis, the French Ministry of Economics and Finance reviews the list of non-cooperative and non-compliant tax countries in the word and publishes same on March 4
In the past, the French Government has imposed a number of sanctions on blacklisted countries — including applying withholding taxes at a higher rate on financial transactions involving blacklisted countries — which serve as a disincentive to French taxpayers, both individuals and companies, wishing to conduct business in blacklisted countries.
Blacklisted countries also face reputational risks that may affect their ability to access international markets.
“From the moment we learned that The Bahamas was listed, we set about to vigorously disprove France’s assumptions about our commitment to the international regulatory standards on tax cooperation and exchange of information for tax purposes,” Senator Thompson shared in a release.
In fact, over the past year, The Bahamas has increased its engagement with the international community to defend its integrity against accusations that it is not doing enough to curb financial crimes.
In March last year, the European Union removed The Bahamas from its list of uncooperative jurisdictions for tax purposes, and in December 2020, the Financial Action Task Force removed The Bahamas from its anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing watch list.
“Our discussions with the French authorities have been fruitful and have fostered a deeper of cooperation between our two countries. We have aptly demonstrated that The Bahamas is indeed doing its part in the global effort to eradicate harmful tax practices,” the minister concluded.