11 December 2017

St Lucia will soon introduce new tax reform measures

St Lucia will soon introduce new tax reform measures to bring the country in line with European Union standards, the Minister in the Ministry of Finance, Senator Ubaldus Raymond has said.

Raymond made the disclosure after St Lucia was placed on an EU blacklist of tax havens, placing the island at risk of EU sanctions.

He said the new tax rules are likely to be unveiled in the new budget.

Senator Raymond denied that St Lucia was a tax haven.

He said St Lucia has complied with all the requirements of international regulatory institutions.  The Prime Minister signed the automatic exchange of information in November 2016, he said.

Raymond said the main issue involves a harmonization of taxes which St Lucia is currently working to improve.

“St Lucia and other countries that were blacklisted, I want to make it clear, these were not institutions dodging the agreement or the requirements of these international institutions but it had more to do with the imbalance in the tax regime. Fortunately for St Lucia our government, the Prime Minister, Minister of Finance, we have already been engaging our local departments, Ministry of Finance, Inland Revenue Department, in working on a more harmonized tax system.”

Raymond said St. Lucia is hoping to be off the European Union tax haven blacklist “very soon”.

He added that St Lucia is awaiting official notification of the blacklisting from the European Union. Once received, he said, St Lucia will comply with every requirement of the European Union.

“I can say safely and very confidently, it will not take long before we are off that list because we are already, as a government, thinking in line of harmonized tax system,” Raymond added.