|Published:||7 Jun at 6 PM|
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In a bid to reform the British Virgin Islands’ labour and immigration laws, the government is cracking down on tax avoidance by expats.
BVI Prime Minister Andrew Fahie has announced the crackdown in order to improve government finances and ensure security, quoting many instances where expat work permits are renewed but no tax, health insurance or social security contributions are being paid. This, he said, needs to be tackled, with violators being subject to stringent financial penalties.
Fahie believes the islands’ borders have been too open for too long, and accepts that new policies may well make it hard for non-BVI nationals to stay or expats to move to the BVI for work purposes. In addition, potential employers who sponsor expats without employing them are opening the doors for freelancers willing to take on several jobs at a time without paying their dues or taxes but taking full advantage of social services.
According to the PM, all illegal actions are to be investigated and loopholes will be closed, thus providing far greater protection for citizens and legal residents as well as expats working legally for employers. He believes the new rules will make it easier for locals to get jobs once the bureaucratic backlog of those seeking residential status is cleared. The new rules follow the shake-up of the BVI’s financial sector after the EU raised concerns over its overall behaviour patterns. Formerly, financial companies registered in the islands needed no premises nor any attendance, thus lending a veil of respectability to less than genuine IFA businesses.
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