On the heels of last week’s blacklisting by the European Union (EU), Barbados has amended its Double Taxation Agreement (DTA) with Mauritius.
The change to the DTA, which was originally signed in 2004 and came into force in 2005, was approved by this country’s Ambassador to the United States Selwin Hart and his Mauritius counterpart Sooroojdev Phokeer.
The amendment provides for the exchange of information on taxation between the two countries.
On signing the document, Ambassador Hart noted the commitment of the Government of Barbados to meeting international standards of transparency and on effective exchange of information on taxation, especially with all of its treaty partners.
“Barbados and Mauritius are sending a clear message to the international community that our governments remain committed to making the necessary changes to our existing frameworks to ensure that we stay abreast of new and emerging developments in areas of transparency and tax information exchange and compliance,” Hart said.
It is expected that the protocol, once ratified, will add value to an already well-established reciprocal and mutually beneficial framework in matters of international taxation between Barbados and Mauritius, whose economies are similarly dependent on tourism and international financial services.
Barbados and Mauritius established diplomatic relations on December 14, 1974.
In blacklisting Barbados last week, the EU said “Barbados has a harmful preferential tax regime and did not clearly commit to amending or abolishing it as requested by 31 December 2018.”
However, officials have expressed shock over the development, which they deem to be both “unfortunate and unfair” and have been eager to prove that the island’s operations have been anything but shady.
Also included on the blacklist of 17 global tax havens, which follows ten months of investigations by EU officials, are Grenada, St Lucia, and Trinidad and Tobago.
EU finance ministers, who met in Brussels last Tuesday, also named American Samoa, Bahrain, Guam, South Korea, Macau, Marshall Islands, Mongolia, Namibia, Palau, Panama, Tunisia and the United Arab Emirates among the dubious list of countries described as not doing enough to crack down on offshore avoidance schemes.