The Commonwealth of Dominica fully complies with EU tax criteria, the European Council announced on Friday. The small Caribbean island joins other jurisdictions that promote good governance and maintain high standards of fair taxation. This is after Dominica implemented a series of regulations that strengthen its due diligence, also reflected in its Citizenship by Investment (CBI) Programme – an important pillar of its economy.
In recent months, tax advisories such as EY and Smith & Williamson noted that Dominica’s CBI Programme is not a risk to tax reporting either. This was seconded by the Queen’s Counsel, Balraj Bhatia, in a formal opinion that concludes that Dominica’s programme does not assist circumvention of tax (CRS).
In March, H.E. Mrs Sharlene Shillingford-McKlmon, Ambassador of the Eastern Caribbean States Mission to the European Union, pointed out that Dominica’s Parliament made efforts to raise the country’s due diligence standards. She stated that, “The necessary changes were done to amend the laws in accordance to EU requirements,” referring specifically to the Fiscal Incentives Act, the International Business Companies Act and the Offshore Banking Act.
In August, 2018, the Financial Times experts assessed Dominica’s due diligence framework within the CBI Programme and found it was second to none among all countries operating programmes that enable investors to acquire second citizenship after making a contribution to the country’s economy. In their annual CBI Index, specialists from the FT’s Professional Wealth Management magazine highlighted the central role of reliable due diligence – which helps select applicants of good moral standing – in operating a trustworthy CBI programme. When measured against seven ‘pillars’, including due diligence, Dominica was ranked as offering the best economic citizenship in the world.
“Due diligence is the most substantial contributing factor to a CBI programme’s capacity to attract the right individuals as citizens,” commented Heyrick Bond Gunning, CEO of S-RM, a leading risk and intelligence consultancy.
Dominica uses CBI funds to sponsor economic and environmental sustainability, as Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerritpledged to make it “the world’s first climate-resilient nation” after the island was severely affected by Hurricane Maria in 2017. To this end, the Skerrit administration mobilised itself to ‘Build Back Better’ and rehouse 5,000 families into hurricane-proof accommodation as part of its CBI-sponsored Housing Revolution. Dominica is also investing heavily in clean energy by building a geothermal plant, with support from international partners and funds from the CBI Programme.