The Barbados Revenue Authority ("the Authority") was created by the Barbados Revenue Authority Act, 2014-1 of the Laws of Barbados ("the Act"), and became operational on April 1, 2014. Following the proclamation of the Act, several tax collecting bodies, particularly the Inland Revenue Department, Land Tax Department and the Value Added Tax Division of the Customs and Excise Department, fell within the legal ambit of the Authority.
As a consequence, the respective tax tribunals, that is, the Income Tax Appeal Board, the Land Valuation Appeal Board and the Value Added Tax Appeal Tribunal were amalgamated, and their authority was vested in the newly established Barbados Revenue Appeals Tribunal ("the Tribunal"). The establishment of the Tribunal as a quasi-judicial body allows disputes or challenges to an assessment or the imposition of taxes or penalties to be heard and determined by a single adjudicatory body.
On 17th November, 2014 the Government of Barbados signed an intergovernmental agreement ("the IGA") with the United States of America ("USA") for the implementation of the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act ("FATCA"). As an international tax instrument, FATCA needed to be incorporated into Barbados’ domestic law in order to have effect. The Income Tax (Automatic Exchange of Information) Regulations 2017 ("the Regulations") were therefore enacted to facilitate the implementation of FATCA within Barbados' domestic legislative framework.
The Regulations govern the exchange of FATCA information and set out the obligations of the financial institutions to which the Regulations apply and specify rules on the collection and reporting of information by Financial Institutions, Information Technology and Administration capabilities. The Regulations also facilitate the domestic implementation of the Global Standard for Automatic Exchange of Financial Information in Tax Matters ("AEOI") under the OECD and the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax purposes.
With these developments in domestic tax law, the Tribunal is now responsible for the adjudication of matters involving international tax law. In particular, the Tribunal is charged with hearing disputes between domestic agencies and the Authority on issues of noncompliance under the FATCA and the AEOI regime.