Ed Miliband has declared he will not “back down” in the row between the Labour Party and businesses, as he announced plans to step up his assault on tax avoidance.
The Labour leader said he would set a six month deadline for Bermuda, Jersey and other British “tax havens” to open their books or face being put on an international blacklist, if Labour wins the general election in May.
In contrast to the UK, companies incorporated in Bermuda must be processed through a service provider, such as a law firm or corporate service provider. Unlike the UK and many other jurisdictions the Bermuda Monetary Authority (BMA) receives information on direct and indirect beneficial owners, including any change in beneficial ownership in respect of exempted companies.
Such information is available to the relevant tax authorities in other jurisdictions (including the UK) via the various international exchange of information policies, laws and treaties Bermuda has in place. Law enforcement also has relatively quick and easy access to beneficial ownership information in Bermuda. Bermuda is therefore already ahead of the UK and many other jurisdictions on the issue of beneficial ownership transparency.