Sir Ronald Sanders, Antigua and Barbuda’s Ambassador to the US, suggests unity among the Caribbean Community countries (Caricom) which have often been “unfairly” criticised for their financial secrecy reporting procedures.
The Independent, European-based think tank Tax Justice Network has recently released a report in which none of the Caricom member states rank among the top 20 jurisdictions globally in regards to financial secrecy and have suggested that member states criticising Caricom should be the ones to provide explanations.
According Sir Ronald Sanders, Antigua & Barbuda’s Ambassador to the US, countries who refer to Caricom’s members as ‘tax haven jurisdictions’ are performing much worse in terms of financial secrecy, with the US being the primary negative example, ranking 3rd in the world in financial secrecy. Sir Ronal Sanders singled out the US states of Delaware, Wyoming and Nevada as jurisdictions operating for decades as so-called onshore secrecy havens, specialising in setting up holding companies for individuals or companies looking to hide assets.
‘The US has not seriously addressed its own role in attracting illicit financial flows & supporting tax evasion’.
– The Tax Justice Network 2015 Report on Financial Secrecy.
In addition to the above, as stated by the Ambassador, the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes rates the US and European Union countries such as the UK, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Greece, and Estonia only in the second grade of jurisdictions that are compliant with international standards.
‘It is significant to mention’, said Sir Ronald Sanders, ‘that in the Global Forum rating for compliance, six Caricom jurisdictions are in the same category as the US, UK & Germany; three of the world’s largest economies. Furthermore, in the TJN 2015 Financial Secrecy Report, Caricom countries are generally assessed as more open and transparent than the US, Britain and Germany’.
Sir Ronald Sanders, finally, has criticised the fact that both the European Union’s Commission and several states within the US have issued public documents “paradoxically” naming several Caricom jurisdictions as “tax havens”, stating that “Caricom jurisdictions have a right to be disappointed, as instead of being rewarded, they are being punished as tax havens”.