WILLEMSTAD–In connection with a lingering conflict within the financial services sector about a bill to change the profit tax, on which the two associations in Curaçao, Cifa and IFG have different opinions, KPMG has stepped out as “biggest member” of the Association Antillean Tax Advisors VAB, confirmed KPMG-chairman Ralph Palm.
Cifa (Curaçao International Financial Services Association), with the support of the majority of the VAB, is in favour of keeping the amendment as is, while IFG (International Financial Group) is of the opinion that international developments have superseded the amendment.
KPMG is also a member of IFG, together with Citco, Fortis (also member of Cifa), and The United Trust Company. Representatives of these companies formed the executive committee of Cifa in former days. Palm says that after, according to him,
“the others have conspired to put us out of the committee.” KPMG, “with more than 20 tax advisors, the biggest member of VAB,” feels compelled to resign its membership.
He added that he doesn’t have a problem with the opinion of the majority, but there must also be room for a minority opinion. Only one committee-member (at that moment chairman Harry Canters of KPMG) felt uncomfortable with the enactment and one of the other members (Paassen-DelSol) declared himself openly against it.
“It must be possible to give a different opinion, definitely as the biggest tax advisor business. But this was apparently not appreciated.” Other than Canters, who, according to Palm, together with KPMG was with VAB from the beginning, stepping down as chairman, the other members also stopped a KPMG-member from joining the committee. “More reason for us to resign our membership.”
The current chairman is since April 24 Pieter Bas van Agtmaal, partner of Loyens & Loeff Curaçao. He was not available for comment. After the recent resignation of KPMG, the committee is made up of seven of the total of 14 offices; PwC, Ernst & Young, Deloitte, De Paus & Vesseur, HLB and Spigthoff. Other members are Muller & Associates, BDO, Paassen-DelSol, Fiscal & Financial Solutions, Praag Tax Advisors and Small Murray Scheper.
VAB indicated to Parliament in March that “with great concern” it learned that during the central committee meeting on February 27, a difference in opinion regarding the bill to amend the profit tax was brought into the open.
The amendment is related to adjustments at the insistence of among other things the European Union (EU) and was – ironically – prepared by the then Cifa-committee that is currently the IFG, which is now of the opinion that the enactment is “outdated,” and will get the Antilles burned.
VAB regrets the fact that the different opinions of the Cifa and the IFG do not make it easy for the Parliament; “it causes confusion.” VAB, which considers itself a pre-eminent association because it is made up of only tax experts, indicated that it is of the opinion that as financial services centre, the enactment “can on balance deliver a good contribution” to the international image of the Netherlands Antilles and the development of the financial service sector.
The advice was to pass the draft-national ordinance.
Bron: Daily Herald