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U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS: No ‘Justification’ For European Union Including Territory on Tax Haven Blacklist

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CHARLOTTE AMALIE – The European Union, without justification, has added the U.S. Virgin Islands to its list of “non-cooperative jurisdictions” for tax purposes.

There is no evidence that the U.S. Virgin Islands has been used to evade or avoid any taxes imposed by European Union Member States, according to Lonnie Soury of New York’s Soury Communications Inc., hired to promote the territory and combat miscommunications in the press.

“The U.S. Virgin Islands is neither a secrecy jurisdiction nor a so-called tax haven and will continue to cooperate fully with the U.S. federal government in implementing laws that provide for transparency and exchange of information,”  Soury said. “As the U.S. Virgin Islands continues to recover from the damage from the effects of Hurricanes Maria and Irma, we remain committed to attracting business and investment that will create increased economic activity and jobs.”

In addition, as a territory of the United States, the U.S. Virgin Islands is subject to U.S. laws that deal with ownership information for financial assets and that provide for sharing tax information.

“There is no evidence any of our recovery efforts or economic development programs are connected to the evasion or avoidance of any taxes imposed by European Union Member States,” he said. “The U.S. Virgin Islands does not anticipate any significant adverse consequences to its economy or its ability to service its bonds as a result of the decision by the European Union to add the U.S. Virgin Islands to the list of non-cooperative jurisdictions.”


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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy is primarily known for his investigative reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands. A series of reports beginning in the 1990's revealed that there was everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling. Another report, following Hurricane Hugo in 1989, cited a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) confidential overview that said that over 40 percent of the U.S. Virgin Islands public lives below the poverty line. The Virgin Islands Free Press is the only Caribbean news source to regularly incorporate the findings of U.S. Freedom of Information Act requests. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is the former news director of WSVI-TV Channel 8 on St. Croix.

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