Tax Haven Barbados

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As a tax haven, Barbados can be considered a well rounded offshore jurisdiction. Although often identified as a having a low tax offshore regime, Barbados offers wide ranging tax incentives to its corporate citizens, both local and international.

Barbados tax haven’s offshore financial sector puts forth a friendly investment environment with many business opportunities and incentives, and this has worked well along with the island’s social, economic and political stability, as well as a ready supply of a well trained and educated labor force.

Tax haven Barbados is considered one of the more progressive islands within the English Caribbean region. Most of this tax haven’s wealth derives from a well developed tourism industry, thanks to lovely white sand beaches, an island wide network of hotels and resorts and a buoyant night life.

Country Overview

The island of Barbados is located east of the Caribbean Sea, near to the islands of St. Lucia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and to the south lies the twin island of Trinidad and Tobago. Tax haven Barbados has a population of roughly 274,000 inhabitants who are made up of African, Caucasian and Asian descendants. Barbados has a large religious community which comprises of Protestants, Anglicans, Roman Catholics, Methodists and other religious followers.

Politically, tax haven Barbados is a stable democracy state and belongs to the Commonwealth. Barbados gained its independence from the British Crown on November 30, 1966, and currently has three major political parties, namely, the People’s Empowerment Party (PEP), Barbados Labour Party (BLP) and the Democratic Labour Party (DLP). Elections are held every five years in tax haven Barbados. The Honourable David John Howard Thompson is the current Prime Minister of Barbados.

Barbados’ legal system is modeled based on English Common Law and thus provides for a number of legal entities that can be used for entrepreneurial ventures both inside and outside of tax haven Barbados. Broadening the island’s business incentives to encapsulate international commercial activities is achieved through the establishment and development of a financial services sector through which Barbados is promoted as a tax haven and or a low tax jurisdiction for certain corporate forms.

Barbados Fiscal Incentives and Advantages

Another beneficial feature of tax haven Barbados is the provision of tax incentives and low tax rates for offshore entities and international business companies. IBCs are liable to a sliding scale of 2.5% to 1% on income. Other fiscal incentives for all international and offshore activities are as follows:

  • Exemption from withholding tax on dividends, interest, payments to overseas residents and other IBCs
  • Exemption from capital gains, estate duties, ad valorem stamp duty (with the exception of local real estate)
  • No taxes and duties on goods, raw materials, machinery and plant imported into to Barbados
  • Tax credit provided that the tax payable is not reduced to less that 1% of the taxable income in Barbados
  • Tax concessions for non-residents who are specially qualified
  • No exchange controls
  • Business friendly climate
  • Economic, social and political stability
  • Large pool of trained professionals

Barbados Offshore Legislative Framework

Part of tax haven Barbados success as an offshore jurisdiction is also attributed to the island’s involvement and representation in international regulatory institutions such as the Offshore Group of Banking Supervisors, International Association of Insurance Supervisors, International Organisation of Securities Commissions and the Caribbean arm of the Financial Action Task Force.

Here are some of Barbados’ offshore legislations:

  • International Business Companies Ac, 1991-24
  • Offshore Banking Act, Cap. 325
  • International Trusts Act, 1995-14
  • Exempt Insurance Act, Cap. 308A
  • International Financial Services Act
  • Money Laundering (Prevention Control) Act
  • Societies with Restricted Liability Act

Barbados Offshore Services

Tax haven Barbados has ideal offshore principles which make going offshore a wholesome experience. For example, as it relates to privacy and confidentiality, customer details are treated with the highest level of confidentiality possible. This is provided for under tax haven Barbados International Company Business Act, which make divulging customer information an offence. Corporate documents that are locally registered are withheld from public scrutiny and cannot be provided unless definite reason is given through a court order. The same rule applies for offshore bank account holder, whose funds are kept confidential. Offshore services available in tax haven Barbados are:

  • Incorporation and registration of foreign sales corporations
  • Licensing and creation of exempt insurance companies
  • Offshore bank licensing and registration
  • International business company formation
  • International trust company formation
  • Incorporation and registration of societies with restricted liability

Barbados Offshore Business Entities

  • Barbados Foreign Sales Corporation (BFSC)
  • Barbados International Business Company
  • International Trust
  • Exempt Insurance Company
  • Exempt Society with Restricted Liability (Srl)
  • Offshore Banks

Corporate Affairs and Intellectual Property Office (CAIPO)

CAIPO is one of the main institutions that make up tax haven Barbados’ list of agencies in the international and domestic commercial sector. CAIPO has two main departments: corporate affairs and intellectual property (Industrial Property and Copyright). The department for corporate affairs deals with incorporating, registering and keeping business and commercial records and was handed regulatory responsibilities for offshore business entities under various enactments.

The Barbados International Business Promotion Corporation was formed in November 2006 by merging the international business department and four overseas based offices of the Barbados Investment and Development Corporation into Invest Barbados, an agency responsible for promoting, developing and sustaining the international business climate of Barbados.

In February 2007, the government of Barbados revealed its plan to establish a Financial Services Commission (FSC) which would be the main supervisory and regulatory body for financial institutions in Barbados as a tax haven. It was also noted that the FSC would be formed by regulators of the Co-operative Department, the Business Development Unit and the Securities Exchange Commission.

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