Economy of Barbados - Current - Taxation - Bilateral Treaties

Bilateral Treaties

Barbados has several bilateral tax treaties, mostly aimed at removing double taxation on companies that operate in the Barbados economy. Since Barbados is at times considered an expensive place to conduct business, the treaties are mainly a measure to provide some savings to international businesses operating in Barbados. Some of the countries which Barbados has taxation agreements with are:

  • Austria,
  • Botswana,
  • Canada,
  • China,
  • CARICOM,
  • Cuba,
  • Finland,
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta,
  • Mauritius,
  • Mexico,
  • Netherlands
  • Norway,
  • Panama,
  • Seychelles,
  • Spain,
  • Sweden,
  • Switzerland,
  • the United Kingdom,
  • the United States and
  • Venezuela.

Source: Barbados Government website containing the text of the majority of the above tax treaties

The bilateral tax treaty negotiated with Canada in particular has been a political-football for the government of that country. The treaty was made to allow the profits for IBCs and offshore banking companies to be repatriated to Canada tax-free after paying taxes in Barbados. The aim was mainly for companies like the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC), Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), and Scotiabank, which (along with Barclays of the United Kingdom), when-combined control a healthy majority of Barbados' local Commercial Banking sector. In essence the treaty makes the economy of Barbados almost an unofficial part of the Canadian economy and it was aimed at allowing Canadian companies to extract profits back to Canada more easily. During the Canadian national elections of 2003 and 2006, it was cited that the former Minister of Finance and later Prime Minister Paul Martin had international shipping companies that operated in Barbados' offshore sector under the bilateral treaty possibly saving his company from higher taxes in Canada.

Read more about this topic:  Economy Of Barbados, Current, Taxation

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    The admission of Oriental immigrants who cannot be amalgamated with our people has been made the subject either of prohibitory clauses in our treaties and statutes or of strict administrative regulations secured by diplomatic negotiations. I sincerely hope that we may continue to minimize the evils likely to arise from such immigration without unnecessary friction and by mutual concessions between self-respecting governments.
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