Antigua and Barbuda’s Citizenship by Investment Programme has landed itself among 21 so called golden passport countries, which have been identified as a threat to international efforts to combat tax evasion.
In its October 16th report, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) gave an analysis of over 100 residence and citizenship by investment schemes, offered by jurisdictions committed to the OECD/G20 Common Reporting Standard (CRS).
In that very same report it highlighted 21 countries that displayed vulnerabilities in the residency or citizenship programmes.
The OECD says these countries have been specially categorised because they give “access to a low personal income tax rate on offshore financial assets”, and “do not require an individual to spend a significant amount of time in the location offering the scheme”.
The OECD also says persons with a second citizenship can misuse it to hide assets offshore, by escaping reporting.
In particular, Identity Cards and other documentation obtained through CBI/RBI schemes, they say, can potentially be misused to misrepresent an individual’s jurisdiction(s) of tax residence and to endanger the proper operation of the CRS due diligence procedures.
This new listing may well make it even more difficult for Antigua and Barbuda since it was one of several countries in the Caribbean to make it unto this special grouping.
The other country schemes include; Barbados’ Special Entry and Residence Permit, Dominica, St Lucia, Grenada and St Kitts and Nevis’ Citizenship by Investment Programmes, the Economic Residency Programme of Montserrat and The Bahamas Economic Permanent Residency
They have all been referred to as potentially high-risk schemes.
The OECD plans to alert financial institutions on the outcome of its analysis of these schemes.
A number of EU countries also made it unto that list.