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The Exchange of Tax Information Portal is an initiative of the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes. The Global Forum conducts peer reviews of its member jurisdictions' ability to co-operate with other tax administrations in accordance with the internationally agreed standard. The standard provides for exchange of information on request where it is foreseeably relevant to the administration and enforcement of the domestic tax laws of the requesting jurisdiction. Effective exchange of information requires that jurisdictions ensure information is available, that it can be obtained by the tax authorities and that there are mechanisms in place allowing for the exchange of that information. The Global Forum's peer review process examines both the legal and regulatory aspects of exchange (Phase 1 reviews) and the exchange of information in practice (Phase 2). The EOI Portal will track the development of these peer reviews, including changes that jurisdictions make in response to the Global Forum's recommendations.

Peer Review: Sint Maarten Phase 1 Review

This report for Sint Maarten has been published on 29 Oct 2012. You can buy this report, or browse it online below.

Skip directly to the Executive Summary. You may also want to view the tables of determinations and ratings.




Determinations and Recommendations

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, but certain aspects of the legal implementation of the element need improvement.   There is no provision requiring foreign companies with sufficient nexus to Sint Maarten, given their place of effective management therein, to maintain ownership and identity information.  Sint Maarten should ensure that ownership and identity information is maintained for all foreign companies with sufficient nexus to Sint Maarten given their place of effective management therein. 
Limited partnerships (CVs) are not required to keep a register of identity information concerning their limited partners.  An obligation should be established for limited partnerships (CVs) to keep identity information concerning their limited partners. 
Foundations are not systematically required to keep a register of identity information concerning their beneficiaries and holders of certificates of participation.  An obligation should be established for foundations to keep identity information concerning their beneficiaries and holders of certificates of participation. 
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.      
Banking information should be available for all account-holders. (ToR A.3)
Determination Factors Recommendations
The element is in place.      
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.      
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, but certain aspects of the legal implementation of the element need improvement.   Appeals to Council of Appeal, which meets only twice a year, may delay the effective exchange of information in Sint Maarten.  Sint Maarten is encouraged to proceed with the intended change of the judicial procedural to allow an appeal to the judge in administrative law. 
The power of the Sint Maarten’s tax authorities to promptly provide information for exchange purposes is subject to interpretation issues (namely, the minimum twomonth waiting period and the definition of urgent reasons) that could prevent effective exchange of information within reasonable time.  Sint Maarten is encouraged to proceed with the intended change of its procedural framework to reduce the conditions and timelines in which information can be provided in response to a request for information. 
The prior notification procedure only allows for an exception in case of urgent reasons.  It is recommended that wider exceptions from prior notification be permitted in tax matters (e.g. in cases in which the notification is likely to undermine the chance of the success of the investigation conducted by the requesting jurisdiction). 
Exchange of information mechanisms should provide for effective exchange of information. (ToR C.1)
Determination Factors Recommendations
The element is in place, but certain aspects of the legal implementation of the element need improvement.   The interpretation given by Item I of the Protocol to the Sint Maarten-Cayman Islands TIEA to the term “pursued all means available in its own territory” under Article 5(5)(g) may impose disproportionate difficulties on the requesting party.  Sint Maarten is encouraged to proceed with its intentions to delete the Protocol to the Sint-Maarten-Cayman Islands TIEA in order to bring it into conformity with the international standard. 
Although 24 EOI agreements have been concluded by Sint Maarten, to date 15 have been ratified and entered into force. The other 9 EOI agreements are currently pending ratification and Sint Maarten still needs to take steps for their ratification.  Sint Maarten should ensure that its EOI agreements are ratified and brought into force as quickly as possible and upgrade already existing treaties. 
The jurisdictions' network of information exchange mechanisms should cover all relevant partners. (ToR C.2)
Determination Factors Recommendations
The element is in place, but certain aspects of the legal implementation of the element need improvement.   Although 24 EOI agreements have been concluded by Sint Maarten, to date 15 have been ratified and entered into force. Sint Maarten is actively negotiating new EOI agreements with relevant partners.  Sint Maarten should continue to develop its EOI network with all relevant partners 
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.      
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.      
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.