At the time of writing there are a number of laws which are in the process of being reviewed, drafted or adopted.
These include the following:
High Net Worth Individuals (HNWI)
Changes to the Qualifying (High Net Worth) Individual Rules 1992 are currently being considered. The aim is to streamline application and compliance procedures and to make HNWI status more attractive for applicants. It is also likely that the title and description of HNWI will be changed to 'Qualifying (Class I) Individual'.
Mutual Assistance Directive
Legislation has now been passed by the House of Assembly to adopt the EU Mutual Assistance Directive (77/799/EEC) which facilitates the exchange of tax information between Member States of the EU. However, it is not expected that the confidentiality provisions affecting offshore companies and bank deposits will be affected.
Independent Tax Tribunal
An Ordinance passed by the House of Assembly will allow for the creation of an independent tax tribunal which should hear proceedings under the Income Tax Ordinance. Other measures to improve the collection and administration of tax include the modification of the process of assessment of persons who are liable to tax and the introduction of specific due and payable dates for the payment of tax.
Legislation has been drafted to give effect to the 4th EU Directive on company accounts and it is expected that this will be presented to the House of Assembly within the next few months.
Legislation has been drafted to give effect to the 8th EU Directive which covers the approval and registration of auditors. It is expected this will be presented to the House of Assembly shortly.
During 1997/98 it is anticipated that four pending EU directives will be implemented. These directives relate to Capital Adequacy, Deposit Guarantee Schemes, Investment Services and 'Post BCCI' prudential supervision. Once these directives are implemented approval will be sought from the United Kingdom for Gibraltar to take advantage of the Single European Passport for Banking.
In addition administrative procedures are being further tightened up; a Reporting Accountants Regime is being set up to assist the Commissioner of Banking in ensuring that the systems and controls of locally licensed banks are adequate and that returns submitted under the Banking Ordinance are accurate.