CASTRIES, St Lucia – The St Lucia government says it will introduce tax reform measures to bring the country in line with European Union (EU) standards, after the country was among four Caribbean nations on a list of 17 global tax havens released by the EU.
Minister in the Ministry of Finance, Senator Ubaldus Raymond made the disclosure even as he insisted St Lucia is not a tax haven.
He said the new tax rules are likely to be unveiled in the next budget and the country – which was on the list along with Barbados, Grenada and Trinidad and Tobago – is hoping to be off the blacklist soon.
According to the St Lucia Times, Raymond insisted that St Lucia has complied with all the requirements of international regulatory institutions, noting that Prime Minister Allen Chastanet signed the automatic exchange of information in November last year.
Raymond said the main issue is harmonization of taxes, which the Eastern Caribbean nation 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,” he said.
“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.
“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.