Wed | Nov 22, 2017

Holness' 'offshore dealings' quite above board

Published:Friday | April 8, 2016 | 12:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

Your Letter of the Day on Wednesday, April 6, ('Demand more answers of Holness' offshore dealings') seems to draw a parallel between the situation involving Andrew Holness' house and the unravelling 'Panama Papers' issue.

The article is inaccurate in some respects and infers the possibility that there may still be something untold in regard to Mr Holness's explanation.

The following clarification should help the writer and your readers:

n Mr Holness took standard legal and accounting advice and opted to use an international business company (IBC) to hold an asset. The property is the sole asset owned by this company.

n Other than the fact that the company was incorporated in St Lucia, it has no offshore dealings as is implied in the title to the letter.

n The IBC is a holding company and so conducts no trade.

n The only tax implication in holding real estate on an ongoing basis during one's lifetime is the property-tax obligation. Since the property is in Jamaica, property tax is payable in the normal way.

It is my understanding that in relation to the so-called 'Panama Papers' issue, the offshore companies are incorporated offshore AND also own assets offshore. In the case of the International Business Company employed by Mr Holness, while it is incorporated offshore, it owns no assets outside of Jamaica

JEROME HENRY

jeromenh@gmail.com

Buff Bay, Portland