In response to the Pillar Two global minimum tax rules (the GloBE Rules) set out by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the Government of Bermuda has issued a public consultation paper requesting feedback on proposals to introduce in Bermuda a corporate income tax effective for 2025. The GloBE Rules apply to Bermuda businesses that are part of Multinational Enterprise Groups (MNEs) with annual revenue of €750M or more and operate to apply a top-up tax where the effective tax rate on a jurisdictional basis is less than 15%. Any proposed corporate income tax introduced in Bermuda would be taken into account in calculating the effective tax rate of Bermuda businesses under the GloBE Rules.
Taxes paid under the proposed Bermuda corporate income tax regime would be those that would otherwise be payable to other jurisdictions under the OECD global minimum tax framework. Any new corporate income tax adopted would include provisions for certain tax credits and qualified refundable tax credits as defined in the GloBE Rules.
The public consultation paper states that the level set for the proposed Bermuda corporate income tax will be “unlikely to result in an overall effective tax rate on profits earned by MNEs in Bermuda in excess of 15% and mitigates the potential for top-up tax payable to other jurisdictions on profits earned in Bermuda.” Although further analysis will be conducted, the Bermuda government currently believes a rate within a range of 9% to 15% may be appropriate.
Due to the €750M annual revenue threshold, the vast majority of Bermuda entities will not be affected by the proposals. Additionally, a number of sectors are exempt from the proposed Bermuda corporate income tax, including not-for-profit groups, pension funds and investment funds. In addition, the Bermuda Tax Reform Commission will examine the possibility of restructuring the island’s existing tax regimes as a means of lowering the cost of living and doing business in Bermuda.
The first consultation period on the proposed Bermuda corporate income tax regime runs from 8 August to 8 September 2023. For more information or to submit comments in relation to the consultation questions or on issues not covered by the public consultation paper, visit https://www.forum.gov.bm.
If you have any questions about how to submit comments, or if you would like to submit your comments through us, please reach out to your regular Conyers contact or any of the experienced lawyers in our Bermuda Corporate Practice. However, it should be noted that a more detailed second public consultation will be held later in the year to cover specific aspects of the proposals and address detailed questions on such issues as scope, how taxable income and creditable taxes are computed, and transitional matters.
- Government press release: https://www.gov.bm/articles/bermuda-considers-introducing-corporate-income-tax
- Consultation Paper: https://www.gov.bm/sites/default/files/First-Public-Consultation.pdf