BVI Record Keeping Requirements
December 2012

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The advent of the Mutual Legal Assistance (Tax Matters) (Amendment) Act, 2012 and the Partnership (Amendment) Act, 2012 ( together the "Amendments") towards the end of 2012 has introduced an additional requirement on all BVI companies and limited partnerships to maintain "records and underlying documentation" and to keep such records and underlying documentation for a minimum period of five years from either (i) the date of completion of the transaction to which the records and underlying documentation relate; or (ii) the company or limited partnership terminates the business relationship to which the records and underlying documentation relate.

The records and underlying documentation may be kept at any location including the office of the company or limited partnership's registered agent. Where the records and documents are kept at a location other than the office of the registered agent, the agent must be provided with details of the physical address of the location of the records. It continues to be the case that the records and underlying documentation must be sufficient to show and explain transactions of the company or limited partnership and must at all times enable the financial position of the company or limited partnership to be determined with reasonable accuracy. The Amendments have not provided specific guidance on what constitutes "records and underlying documentation" save that accounts are specifically included.

The Amendments are in response to Phase 1 of the Peer Review Report on the BVI produced in the Summer of 2012 by the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes and represent a vigilant effort by the Government of the BVI to comply with international transparency standards and maintain the BVI's standing as a premier international financial center.

For more information on the BVI's new record keeping requirements please contact Rob McIntyre at rmcintyre@lennoxpaton.com or Fiona Forbes at fforbes@lennoxpaton.com

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