Montserrat

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Overall Phase 2 Rating is Largely Compliant

Table of Determinations and Ratings of the Phase 2 Review

Jurisdictions should ensure that ownership and identity information for all relevant entities and arrangements is available to their competent authorities. (ToR A.1)
Determination Factors Recommendations
The element is in place.      
Phase 2 Rating Factors Recommendations
Largely Compliant.  New provisions were introduced in August 2013 on availability of ownership information on all shareholders of companies (domestic and foreign) and in respect of beneficiaries of trusts. In view of the short period between the introduction of the new provisions and the end of the period under review, the enforcement of the new provisions could not be assessed.  Montserrat should monitor the operation of the new provisions on the availability of ownership information for all shareholders of companies (domestic and foreign) and all beneficiaries of trusts in Montserrat. 
In situations where deficiencies in complying with AML obligations are detected by the FSC, the person concerned is asked to address the situation. If these deficiencies are addressed in the timeframe granted by the FSC, sanctions are not applied.  When significant breaches of AML obligations are discovered, even if the gaps are addressed by the person concerned, the FSC should consider applying sanctions. 
Jurisdictions should ensure that reliable accounting records are kept for all relevant entities and arrangements. (ToR A.2)
Determination Factors Recommendations
The element is in place.      
Phase 2 Rating Factors Recommendations
Largely Compliant.  In view of the recent introduction of legal obligations for LLCs to maintain accounting information in Montserrat the enforcement of these obligations could not be assessed.  Montserrat should monitor the enforcement of the accounting obligations applying to LLCs. 
Banking information should be available for all account-holders. (ToR A.3)
Determination Factors Recommendations
The element is in place.      
Phase 2 Rating Factors Recommendations
Largely Compliant.  The FSC has not carried out any inspections of banks since 2010 to check their compliance levels.  Montserrat should quickly put in place the schedule of regular inspections of banks so that their compliance can be effectively monitored. 
Competent authorities should have the power to obtain and provide information that is the subject of a request under an exchange of information arrangement from any person within their territorial jurisdiction who is in possession or control of such information (irrespective of any legal obligation on such person to maintain the secrecy of the information). (ToR B.1)
Determination Factors Recommendations
The element is in place.      
Phase 2 Rating Factors Recommendations
Compliant.     
The rights and safeguards (e.g. notification, appeal rights) that apply to persons in the requested jurisdiction should be compatible with effective exchange of information. (ToR B.2)
Determination Factors Recommendations
The element is in place.   The prior notification procedure in civil tax matters only allows for an exception when the whereabouts of the taxpayer are not disclosed to the competent authority.  It is recommended that wider exceptions from prior notification be permitted in civil tax matters (e.g. in cases in which the information request is of a very urgent nature or the notification is likely to undermine the chance of the success of the investigation conducted by the requesting jurisdiction). 
Phase 2 Rating Factors Recommendations
Compliant.     
Exchange of information mechanisms should provide for effective exchange of information. (ToR C.1)
Determination Factors Recommendations
The element is in place.      
Phase 2 Rating Factors Recommendations
Compliant.     
The jurisdictions' network of information exchange mechanisms should cover all relevant partners. (ToR C.2)
Determination Factors Recommendations
The element is in place.     Montserrat should continue to develop its network of EOI mechanisms with all relevant partners. 
Phase 2 Rating Factors Recommendations
Compliant.     
The jurisdictions' mechanisms for exchange of information should have adequate provisions to ensure the confidentiality of information received. (ToR C.3)
Determination Factors Recommendations
The element is in place.      
Phase 2 Rating Factors Recommendations
Compliant.     
The exchange of information mechanisms should respect the rights and safeguards of taxpayers and third parties. (ToR C.4)
Determination Factors Recommendations
The element is in place.      
Phase 2 Rating Factors Recommendations
Compliant.     
The jurisdiction should provide information under its network of agreements in a timely manner. (ToR C.5)
Determination Factors Recommendations
The assessment team is not in a position to evaluate whether this element is in place, as it involves issues of practice that are dealt with in the Phase 2 review.      
Phase 2 Rating Factors Recommendations
Largely Compliant.  Montserrat has committed resources and has in place organisational processes for exchange of information that appear to be adequate for dealing with incoming EOI requests. Montserrat received only one EOI request during the three-year period under review. Consequently, the organisational processes have not been sufficiently tested in practice.  Montserrat should monitor the practical implementation of the organisational processes of the competent authority as well as the level of resources committed to EOI purposes, in particular taking account of any significant changes to the volume of incoming EOI requests, to ensure that both the processes and level of resources are adequate for effective EOI in practice. 

Earlier self-assessment based annual reports entitled Tax Co-operation 2010: Towards a Level Playing Field are also available.