Cayman signs more tax deals

| 30/03/2009

(CNS): With only days to go before the world’s leading nations come together to decide a new world order, one that many of them would prefer did not include tax havens, the Cayman Islands Government has today (30 March) announced another four tax deals with Ireland, Japan, the Netherlands (Holland) and South Africa. This means that Cayman now has arrangements that provide access to comprehensive tax information assistance with 20 countries, including the majority of Cayman’s major trading partners.

The deals which were signed last week, facilitate tax information assistance according to OECD standards under a unilateral mechanism that doesn’t require a bilateral treaty. The latest four come in the wake of two other deals signed with groups of European countries. The agreements also come following a long gap since the Cayman Islands Government signed a separate bi-lateral deal with the United States in 2001.

These new arrangements were made possible by the passage of the Tax Information Authority Law 2005 at the end of last year, a long awaited bill that enables the government to enter into Tax Exchange information as needed.

"The Cayman Islands took the proactive step of introducing the unilateral mechanism for the provision of information in tax matters, as a complement to our bilateral negotiation programme," said Cayman Islands Leader of Government Business, Kurt Tibbetts. "We recognised the need to increase the pace at which we could enter into tax information arrangements, while offering a phased approach to our negotiating partners under our bilateral programme in appropriate circumstances. We look forward to continuing this progressive approach."

The Port Folio of Finance said the unilateral mechanism provided by the law gives Cayman an additional facility to deliver on its commitment to transparency and exchange of information in tax matters. The CI government also anticipates signing more deals in the immediate future including with the UK as well as the remaining G7 countries and several other OECD nations.

The Cayman Islands government was the first non-OECD jurisdictions to adopt (in 2000) the principles of transparency and exchange of information in tax matters, based on a level playing. However, the field has gotten increasingly uneven lately but with the G20 looming the pressure on all offshore financial service centres to be transparent has increased. Tax information exchange is also perceived as a way of keeping Cayman off any potential black list and forms part of the government’s goal of demonstrating that Cayman is part of the global solution not the problem

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I am not a UDP or PPM supporter.  However, I must agree that our government has been very complacent and started to address these issues very late.  At one point, Alden said that the media was blowing this out proportion and therefore it was not as serious as they were making it out to be.  Then Kirk made a comment along the lines that if all fails he could plant casavas on his land in Bodden Town.  Well the reality is that not all Caymanians have the luxury of purchasing many blocks of land in order to start a farm and a lot of us depend on the financial industry for jobs.  It’s heartbreaking to see our current government play with our lives and our source to provide for our families in this way :o(  

    On a personal level, Kirk and Alden are really sweet people but unfortunately they don’t have the ability to run and manage our beautiful country.  I’m happy to see them as Premiers of The Lions Club of Grand Cayman and not our islands. 

    Best of luck to all candidates, you have a a long and difficult job ahead of you, if elected. 

  2. Jedi Dread says:

    To be or not to be: Blacklisted.

    (the G20 summit starts Thursday in London, folks)

    – Jedi Dread –

  3. CaymanLeamon says:

    Too little, too late.

    This is much too LITTLE, much too LATE, and our families and children will be the ones to suffer because of it. What was the government doing the past 3 years? Thanks a lot PPM. And most of all, thanks Alden. thanks for nothing.


    • Anonymous says:

      Just like how people suffered after the First Cayman Bank went down.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Yes, The UDP propoganda machine is in full swing!

    Voters beware!

  5. Young Caymanian says:

    Is the UDP paying someone to leave comments on all these threads? It seems to me that the voice of the people, which is what this forum is for, is being drowned out by UDP propaganda. Is that what they think of the people?

    • Anonymous says:

      Young Caymanian, like you I strongly suspect they are planted by UDP supporters. They follow in such quick succession essentially saying the same thing.  

  6. Anonymous says:

    come on alden. you should have done better than putting us in this position. i am a die hard PPM fan. But you have really messed up on this one.

  7. Anonymous says:

    wow…now the PPM has truly ruined the cointry. we will all see what happens at the meeting with the big boys. we cannot continue to have the passive inaction style of leadership by Kurt and hsi team. 

  8. Anonymous says:

    I cannot vote but i think  the government should have seen this coming even if all they did was read the world newspapers..your good country is going to suffer because your government did not properly deal with the various international agencies and governments in time to avoid a diasaster at the g20 meeting. you should speak with your vote as i understand your elections are coming up later this year…

    we have seen similar government incompetence in Jersey and Isle of man..but i think the consequence sof imnaction by youtr government is going to be far worse than in our case beacsue your financial industry is very key to the quality of life of your citizens. good luck and get rid of whoever is responsible in your government for this crisis. is it the mclaughglin guy?

  9. Anonymous says:

    i have always suppoprted alden . and i will support some PPM members in this election because I beleive they are good for this country. But i cannot and will not support alden mclaughlin as a result of this issue. he has to take responsibility for not doing more over the past 3 to 4 years on this particular issue.

    if i were him i think any senior civil servants or consultants who have been advising him need to go…or at least have more than a stern talking to.

    sorry alden…cannot support you this time. this was  bad mistake by the government to let things get to this stage..

  10. Anonymous says:

    the government will try to say that this international challenge is outside their countrol…but it is not.

    for the past 4 years cayman did abolutely nothing. put the agreemenst in place that ti promised to the oec tears ago.

    mckeeva asked the cabinet to explain whois carrying out all these negotiations and upto now he has not got a response.

    they are getting very bad advice. someone has been telling them to hold off and try to negotiate with the more important countries…this is crazy..we dont have time now to sit around and think whether we have to cooperate with the int’l community. this has already costs caymanian jobs in the finance sector. and these jokers in cabinet have wasted a lot of time and put us in this mess. My brother works in the industry and was told yesterday that the firm wanted to amke a propsoal to him a few others to "let them go nicely" with a severance package. the govt neglect is the reasons for us being with our back against the wall on this one.  I don’t whether it is Alden or Kurt but which ever one is responsible for the financial services industry..that one MUST GO when ti is time to vote etc

  11. Anonymous says:

    aside from the agreement with the United States which was done way back in 2001, bascially NONE of these countries are important strategically for cayman when ti comes to financial services. What alden mclaughlin did was put agreements in place with any old country that would sign them. Even if they meant abolutely nothing to our financial serviecs industry? what about the major players like France, Spain, China etc. This is an embarrasment and this 11th hour thing by the Alden and Kurt duo is the reason we are in such a mess today. If we get blacklisted later this week, we must make sure they BOTH pay for this on May 20th.

    • Anonymous says:

      "NONE of these countries are important strategically for cayman when ti comes to financial services. What alden mclaughlin did was put agreements in place with any old country that would sign them".

      Rubbish. You have obviously no clue. Ireland and Japan have absolutely nothing to do with our financial services industry?! What planet do you live on? 

      Which agreements did McKeeva negotiate during his tenure (2001-2005), the period immediately following the commitments made to the OECD?

  12. Anonymous says:

    This is pure spin by the government. they have signed some agreemenst in a big rush in the past few weeks. the problem is that most of these are with countries that dont matter ojn the global level. the nordic countries, czech rebilc? come on!

    The fact is that the PPM has neglected the financial services international issues and when they realised that there would be a meeting of the g20 countries this coming week they started to scramble to put some agreement in place. we must ask the question: why was this nto done four years ago? how much beter would our edonomy have been if they had done what was neccessary? they are the reasons we face the risk of being blacklisted this week. and alden mcluaghlin who is the one responsible for international financial services policy MUST be held accountable for thie major neglect of our financial industry.