Premier disappointed at OBA’s last minute Corporate Income Tax Bill propose

“It’s disappointing and perplexing that the Opposition is choosing to propose a last-minute amendment on an initiative that has been characterized by significant levels of collaboration and cooperation between the Government, private sector, and the Legislature,” said a Government spokesperson following the issuance of an opposition commentary earlier yesterday regarding the Corporate Income Tax Bill. 


“In fact, the Premier and Minister of Finance, the Hon. David Burt contacted the Opposition Leader earlier to ask that the Opposition withdraw this last-minute amendment as all the matters contained in the amendment are items that are currently being discussed by the Tax Reform Commission. The Premier expressed to the Opposition leader that tomorrow’s debate is not a time for political point scoring, but rather a time to applaud Bermuda’s global leadership in international business and the collaboration that has seen Bermuda achieve this milestone.”


It should be stressed that there has been considerable consultation on this bill to date, with three consultation papers having been issued, one of which included an illustrative draft of the proposed bill.  

The Government spokesperson continued, “Feedback has been carefully analysed and considered, and to the extent that proposals were not deemed to compromise the integrity of the regime, there have been amendments made to the legislation to reflect the input received. 

“In addition, and this is a very important note – two briefings were held for all members of the Legislature including one this past Tuesday where all members of the Opposition were able to ask questions on the bill.


“During the briefings, the technical team at the Ministry of Finance explained that this phase of the legislation is meant to lay the groundwork for the CIT regime that will be recognized and demonstrate Bermuda’s compliance with international standards.


“Simply put, the Government cannot accept this amendment, as it would go against the collaborative approach that we’ve committed to in designing this new tax regime. The legislation has been developed working in close collaboration with industry and other experts in international tax matters. 


“It’s absolutely critical to note that this last-minute amendment that was released to the press before it was sent to the Government may jeopardise the countless hours of work that the International Tax Working Group and the Ministry of Finance have expended to get this right.


“The fact that the Opposition would choose a time like this to make a politically motivated attack is shameful. Furthermore, it demonstrates that they cannot grasp the seriousness of this moment for Bermuda and its international business sector.”


The Leaders of the Association of Bermuda International Companies (ABIC), Association of Bermuda Insurers and Reinsurers (ABIR), and Bermuda International Long-Term Insurers and Reinsurers (BILTR) have all commended the Government’s approach to date and signaled their intention to actively participate in the next steps. 


The Government spokesperson added, “The bi-partisan Tax Reform Commission has commenced their work, and the issues that the Opposition’s last-minute amendment is looking to address are part of the terms of reference for that commission, of which the Opposition Shadow Finance Minister is a member.


“Finally, it is the Ministry of Finance’s hope, that the Opposition will do the right thing for the country, and withdraw this last-minute amendment that is an affront to the efforts of the International Tax Working Group and the members of the Bi-Partisan Tax Reform Commission. Bermuda’s political parties have always stood side by side in support of the island’s International Business Sector, and tomorrow should be no different.”

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