The record keeping and record retention obligations of all BVI companies and limited partnerships are set to change when proposed amendments to the Mutual Legal Assistance (Tax Matters) Act, 2003 (MLAT) and the Partnership Act, 1996 (PA 1996) are published and brought into effect. Bills to amend MLAT and PA 1996 were introduced and received a first reading in the House of Assembly in September. The two Bills received second and third readings in late October but at this time the final versions have not yet been published. 

Based on the initial versions of the Amending legislation, all companies and limited partnerships will be required to maintain "underlying documentation" as well as "records" and to keep such records and underlying documentation for a minimum of five years.  The records and underlying documentation can be kept at any location(s) but if they are not kept at the office of the company's registered agent the company must provide a written record to its registered agent of the physical address of the place or places at which the records and underlying documentation are kept.

Amendments to MLAT and PA 1996 are in direct response to the Phase I Peer Review Report on the BVI produced by the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes dated August 2011. Harneys will issue further details when the final Amendment Acts are published and a commencement date has been announced.