Tax Evaders Out, Meetings In

In the past year, four more Caribbean nations have made their banking systems more transparent to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service in return for favorable tax status for U.S. meetings. Antigua & Barbuda, The Bahamas, The Cayman Islands, and The British Virgin Islands join ten other Caribbean-area destinations where a U.S. company can take the same tax deductions as they would for a U.S.-based meeting, no questions asked.

Generally, business meetings held outside the North America are not a tax deductible expense unless they pass an "as reasonable" test. A U.S. company must show that it is as reasonable for the meeting or convention to be held outside the U.S. as inside. However, meetings in countries that have signed the Tax Information Exchange Agreement (TIEA) with the United States are not held to that standard. The agreement allows the IRS to view heretofore private banking records in cases of tax evasion and money laundering.

The other Caribbean-area countries that have signed the TIEA include Barbados, Bermuda, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, St. Lucia, Trinidad & Tobago, Venezuela.