The presence of officials from the British Virgin Islands at a conference, seeking to insure that nationals from the British Overseas Territories do not have to secure a visa to visit the countries of the European Union, indicates that those tax havens do not want detailed records of such visits, which would include advising European taxpayers how to avoid or evade taxes in their jurisdictions.
The argument advanced by the BVI is that its attorneys and advisers need unfettered access to their European clients, but in truth and in fact, they do not want visa records, of approvals, entries and exits, to document their activities. The British Virgin Islands, Bermuda, and the Cayman Islands could all face EU visa requirements, for a valid reason: to prevent their nationals from remaining indefinitely in Europe, as illegal immigrants. While the attorneys and financial service professionals in Caribbean tax havens will hardly fit in that category, they obviously do not want to have to specify the reasons for their visits, and to have complete records of their European travel maintained.
In the post-Panama Papers environment, EU nations may wish to keep a watchful eye upon Caribbean tax haven interaction with their taxpayers, and requiring their nationals to obtain visas to enter the Schengen countries might assist in that quest.
Chronicles of Monte Friesner - Financial Crime Analyst
Contributed by Kenneth Rijock - Financial Crime Consultant