The statement from Keith Azopardi on the tax treaty with Spain is legally flawed and politically dishonest.
Speaking from London where he is preparing to lead the Gibraltar Day events, the Chief Minister, the Hon Fabian Picardo QC MP, said: “The tax treaty with Spain does not change the existing rules on management and control. Deciding where the ‘management and control’ of a company lies is the established principle used in determining the tax residency of companies and the tax treaty does not change that or the principles applicable to those determinations. Management and control is a general principle that applies between all countries in exactly the same way.
“What the treaty has served to do is to highlight these issues and companies and firms are right to point out how easy it is to trip on ON THE EXISTING, UNCHANGED RULES if key employees become lax. Mr Azopardi is being politically dishonest to suggest the opposite.
“It is of course right for companies to constantly review their practices from a tax perspective and to remind employees and key decision makers of the relevant rules.
“Those rules have not been changed as a result of the tax treaty. The serious advice being given professionally by various reputable and established firms is that the treaty has not changed the established rules at all and firms are using this moment to ensure that their employees are reminded of that, and of their obligations to the State in which they are resident.
“In fact, the tax treaty with Spain will also create new business opportunities as it provides clarity for businesses and unlocks Gibraltar’s membership of the OECD BEPs Inclusive Framework.
“That is the reality that Mr Azopardi does not want to face. It’s the reality that is turbo-charging opportunities to do business in Gibraltar. It’s the reality that the electorate saw through when they confined Mr Azopardi to the worst result by a Party leader in the history of our democracy and his Party to their worst result in over twenty-five years. The fact that he is now telling people, dishonestly, that Gibraltar is not an attractive place from which to do business simply adds to the reasons why Mr Azopardi is not the people’s choice even to lead the Opposition.”