Message to the Senate Transmitting the United States-British Virgin Islands Convention on Taxation and Fiscal Evasion

April 21, 1981

To the Senate of the United States:

I am transmitting for Senate advice and consent to ratification, a Convention between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of the British Virgin Islands for the Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with respect to Taxes on Income (the Convention). I am also transmitting a related note from the Government of the British Virgin Islands, signed at Washington on February 18, 1981.

The Convention will replace the 1945 income tax convention between the United States and the United Kingdom which was applied to the British Virgin Islands in 1959. The Convention takes into account the modernization of tax treaties which has taken place since that time and is based primarily on the United States and OECD model tax treaties published in 1977. The most important differences from the model tax treaties are the rates of tax at source on investment income. Because of the positive rates at source, the use of the Convention by third country residents in deriving investment income from the United States will decline substantially.

An important feature of the Convention, which benefits the United States in particular, is found in the provisions of Article 25 which provide for the exchange of information. The note of the Government of the British Virgin Islands confirms that financial information will be made available, on request, to the United States. It also confirms that, under the terms of the Convention, the United States may terminate the Convention if, as a result of a change in law or practice in the British Virgin Islands, such information is not made available.

I recommend that the Senate give early and favorable consideration to the Convention and give advice and consent to its ratification.

Ronald Reagan

The White House,

April 21, 1981.