ST VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES:International Cooperation
SVG has a proud history of being a responsible player in the worldwide arena of international cooperation. SVG has readily facilitated international cooperation through appropriate legal channels as well as through diplomatic channels. As early as 1993, SVG enacted the Mutual Legal assistance in Criminal Matters Act which made application for both Commonwealth and non- Commonwealth countries as since then has further developed and enhanced its legislative regime and administrative infrastructure to streamline effective responses by the jurisdiction to requests for international assistance.
SVG has enacted relevant legislation which demonstrates its commitment to international cooperation, namely the Exchange of Information Act, the Financial Intelligence Unit Act, Financial Services Authority Act and the International Cooperation (Tax Information Exchange Agreement) Act.
Our international cooperation mandate expanded with the advent of the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Account (FATCA) and the Common Reporting Standards (CRS) or the Automatic Exchange of Information (AEOI) initiatives. The Foreign Accounts Tax Compliance (Implementation and Enforcement of Inter-Governmental Agreement) Act and the Automatic Exchange of Information Act and Regulations were enacted to ensure SVG has a legal basis upon which it can effectively cooperate.
SVG has also signed on the Multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters (MAAC) the antecedent to the CRS/AEOI initiative.
SVG received a rating of Largely Compliant in the Global Forum’s Peer Review process which was concluded in 2015. SVG has been a member of the Global Forum since 2009, and prior to that, has been actively involved in OECD initiatives since 2002. SVG is also a member of the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF) and partners with other regional and international organizations and bodies such as the IMF, World Bank and CARTAC.
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OECD – Exchange of Information
Exchange of Information for Tax purposes in St. Vincent and the Grenadines is guided by the International Co-operation (Information Exchange Agreements) Act, 2011, Ref: SVG International Co-operation Tax Information Exchange Agreements. This Act sets out the procedure for the implementation of agreements and arrangements entered into by the Government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines with other jurisdictions to provide for the exchange of information for tax and connected purposes.
The Competent Authority pursuant to the Act is the Minister of Finance. The Minister of Finance in St. Vincent and the Grenadines is The Hon. Camillo Gonsalves. The contact details of the Competent Authority are as follows:
Minister of Finance
Ministry of Finance and Planning
2nd Floor Administrative Building
P.O. Box 608
Tel: 784 457 1343 /456 1111
Fax: 784 457 2943
Certain administrative functions of the Competent Authority are carried out by the Financial Services Authority (FSA). In carrying out its functions, the FSA liaises with the other relevant Authorities in St. Vincent and the Grenadines including, the Inland Revenue Department and the Commerce and Intellectual Property Office. The contact details of the FSA are as follows:
The following is a list of jurisdictions with which St. Vincent and the Grenadines has established Tax Information Exchange Agreements (TIEAs):
- United Kingdom
Further information on these Agreements may be viewed by visiting the following link: http://www.oecd.org/tax/transparency/taxinformationexchangeagreementstieasstvincentthegrenadines.htm
St. Vincent and the Grenadines has also signed the CARICOM Treaty – a multilateral Double Taxation Treaty signed by the following Member States: Antigua & Barbuda, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Jamaica, St. Kitts & Nevis, Guyana, St. Lucia and Trinidad and Tobago.
St. Vincent and the Grenadines remains committed to implementing the internationally agreed tax standards of the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), and to ensure a transparent and efficient tax information exchange regime.
In sum, SVG is compliant with relevant international standards:
- SVG has demonstrated its commitment to global tax transparency and accountability having been rated “Largely Complaint” by the OECD Peer Review Group after the completion of its Phase 1 Review (2011-2012) and Phase 2 Review (2013- 2014).
- SVG is FATCA compliant having signed the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) Model 1B Agreement with the USA in August 2015 and has enacted relevant legislation to give effect to FATCA in SVG.
- SVG has committed to implement the OECD Global Forum’s Common Reporting Standard on Automatic Exchange of Information by 2018. To this end, SVG signed the Multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters and the Multilateral Competent Authority Agreement and has enacted relevant legislation to give effect to these Agreements.