British Virgin Islands: BVI Government Introduces Bill To Establish The ITA As A Statutory Body

Last Updated: 19 January 2017
Article by Ayana Hull

Legislative proposals in the British Virgin Islands (BVI) intend to institute the BVI International Tax Authority (the ITA) as a fully-fledged independent government institution in the BVI with its own legal personality capable of having power to do all such things as are necessary or incidental to the performance of its functions.

The ITA was initially established within the BVI Ministry of Finance to administer cross border tax matters involving the BVI. It was designated by the Financial Secretary as the competent authority (the Competent Authority) under the Mutual Legal Assistance (Tax Matters) Act 2003 (the MLAT) to perform these functions. Under the MLAT, the Financial Secretary is designated as the Competent Authority. Under the MLAT framework, the functions of the ITA includes negotiating tax information exchange agreements and other arrangements in relation to tax matters, dealing with all practical aspects of tax information exchange (upon requests, automatic, spontaneous), continuing to develop the framework within the BVI for the effective exchange of information, ensuring that the BVI is fully compliant with the international standards of transparency and exchange of information for tax purposes and that the Government of the BVI fulfils its obligations under tax exchange information agreements it has entered into.

While rating the BVI as Largely Compliant in its Supplementary Peer Review Report, Phase 2: Legal and Regulatory Framework (the Peer Review), the Global Forum did recommend that the BVI should take the appropriate measures to ensure that it responds to all exchange of information (EOI) requests in a timely manner and that the BVI should take a more tailored approach in handling EOI requests in circumstances which are not encountered on a day-to-day basis and which are likely to result in longer response times. It is with this in mind that the BVI has made a further commitment to the international standards on tax transparency and EOI and introduced The International Tax Authority Act 2017 (the Bill) under which the ITA will no longer operate as a department of the Ministry of Finance of the Government of the BVI. Instead, when the Bill is passed into law, the ITA will have a semi-autonomous character and it will be a statutory body with quasi-judicial authority. The scope of the proposed functions of the ITA as outlined in the Bill cements the BVI's commitment to the recommendations made under the Peer Review.

Since 2009, these standards have evolved and new standards on automatic exchange of information have been introduced. As these standards continue to evolve and change, so too must the machinery required to cooperate on an international level. The BVI Government through the passage of the Bill in the Legislature seeks to ensure that such cooperation is handled in the most efficient and time sensitive way and that the ITA is adequately staffed to do so. In order to better achieve these standards, it was determined that the ITA would be best served by being a statutory body, removed from the main day-to-day Governmental operations and systems.

Some of the key features the Bill is expected to introduce include:

  • establishment of the ITA as a body corporate, setting out the functions of the ITA and seeking to equip the ITA in order to ensure that the BVI is better able to adhere and respond within a time-efficient manner to international standards in relation to cross border tax matters
  • implementation of a Board of Directors (the Board) to govern the affairs of the ITA. The Board will be made up of five members, namely, the Financial Secretary (who will act as Chairman), the Attorney General, the Managing Director of the BVI Financial Services Commission (the FSC), the Director of the ITA and the Director of the Financial Investigation Agency (the FIA)
  • the ability of the ITA to issue guidelines in relation to its functions after consulting with relevant agencies and any such guidelines are required to be available for inspection by all relevant persons, entities and legal or other persons
  • facilitating secondment of public officers from the FSC, the FIA or any department of the Government in general and provides the framework and reporting obligations in relation to such secondments
  • the provision of immunity to the ITA and its officers from suit in relation to the performance of their functions, duties and powers under the Act and protects persons who provide information to the ITA from criminal or civil liability
  • provisions for the confidentiality of any information that any person obtains as a result of his or her connection with the ITA

From an administrative perspective, the Bill:

  • requires the Director of the ITA to prepare and submit an annual report to the Board by 30 June each year which should detail the work of the ITA for the previous year
  • allows the ITA to collect fees in relation to filings made under FATCA and the common reporting standards and will also have the power to impose administrative penalties, such fees and penalties will then form part of the operational funds and resources of the ITA and the ITA is required to prepare an annual budget that must be submitted to Cabinet for approval
  • affords the ITA the power to borrow money in certain conditions and the ITA is required to keep proper accounts and other records of account and to prepare a statement of accounts for each financial year.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

In association with
Related Topics
Related Articles
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Mondaq Free Registration
Gain access to Mondaq global archive of over 375,000 articles covering 200 countries with a personalised News Alert and automatic login on this device.
Mondaq News Alert (some suggested topics and region)
Select Topics
Registration (please scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of

To Use you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.


The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.


Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions