The US Foreign Accounts Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) continues to fuel heated discussions here in the British Virgin Islands, and social commentator Edmund Maduro is now asserting that an agreement would be a constitutional breach that warrants a call for early elections.
Under FATCA, the United States is trying to collect taxes from its citizens and companies here in the BVI and elsewhere around the world.
The BVI Premier, Dr. D. Orlando Smith, has hinted that his government may sign a related Inter-Governmental Agreement with the United States, adding that such FATCA approach would be the best option for the territory.
Opposition member Julian Fraser and Maduro think otherwise. Fraser has maintained that a FATCA agreement would result in the BVI government ‘trading’ the liberty and private information of some citizens to the United States.
The BVI citizens and residents likely to be affected are those holding US citizenship.
Premier Dr. D. Orlando Smith on Tuesday dismissed claims that his government has been conspiring with the United States to collect sensitive information on its citizens.
The information is said to be linked to immigrant status, citizenship, property ownership and income.
“The BVI government is NOT collecting information on the citizenship and immigrant status with the United States on its citizens, nor is the government diving into their property ownership or income,” Premier Smith noted in a brief reference to the matter.
He was responding to Third District representative Julian Fraser who last week told a public meeting in his constituency that the BVI government has been ‘volunteering to do the United States policing of its citizens’.
Such policing, he said, has nothing to do with the topical issues of ‘Tax Haven’ and Tax Information Exchange Agreements.
“The United States in its decision to hunt and tax its citizens and permanent residents across the globe on property and savings interest is now allied with the NDP Government in the Virgin Islands,” Fraser told his constituents.
Note: The NDP party of the British Virgin Islands has nothing to do with the NDP Party of Canada.