Tax threshold may go to $30k

| 01/08/2012

(CNS): According to government sources, it is likely to be the country’s immigration department that will collect the expat tax proposed by the premier, though it is not clear how. CNS also understands that government could be rethinking the level of pay at which the 10% tax on the earnings of foreign workers could kick in, raising the starting point to salaries above $30,000 and not the $20,000 that Premier McKeeva Bush had said when he first announced the controversial move last week. However, sources tell CNS that the only thing that appears to be certain is the uncertainty surrounding this tax and the current budget situation for government’s 2012/13 spending plans.

Bush is scheduled to meet with the public Wednesday evening, at which time, he has said, he will offer more details on what he has called a “community enhancement fee”, which is, in reality, a form of income tax of work permit holders. During a radio broadcast to the nation he suggested this tax would be 10% ofthe earnings of all work permit holders earning $20,000 or more, but those employees, as well as their employers, would no longer have to make a contribution to their pensions.

Since that announcement, the idea has received criticism from every corner of the private sector but gained what appears to be very limited support from Caymanians. The outrage of large sections of the community has been reflected mostly on Facebook and in the online media, where the vast majority of commenters, particularly on Cayman News Service, have made it clear that they do not support the tax.

Many locals believe that the imposition of direct taxation, once implemented, is unlikely to remain confined to expatriates and that it would represent a fundamental shift in Cayman’s economic fortunes.

The collection of the tax has also been slated across the island, not least by those in the offshore sector, who have pointed out that even before government has even established a secure mode of getting the revenue in, experts here will have created myriad financial vehicles to help workers avoid the tax.

The suggestion that immigration will be charged with collecting the fee suggests that it would be linked to work permits, which may means the tax will have to be paid annually, creating particular hardship for lower paid employees, or that the department will need to create a new enforcement arm to collect on a more regular basis.

It is not yet clear how immigration would check that the salary figure an employer says he is paying an employee is correct.

Check back to CNS later tonight for the latest news on the controversial expat tax.

Category: Politics

Comments (111)

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  1. Homer Simpson says:

    I was embarrassed last night for my Caymanian people. Having to sit there and listen to this self-proclaimed "Premier". It was really unbearable. I am not a PPM, nor am I a UDP. I believe this island is too small for parties.

    How are you supposed to open up the floor to questions and comments when you don't give the people a chance to speak, or listen & answer their questions. Some people got up and started stating what they believe, he cut them off. there was a lady from West Bay, I believe, going off stating that she was not biased at all, then she followed it by saying 'if you want a fight, a fight is what you'll get'. This lady was allowed to go on with her attitude, but yet everyone else was cut off. If you are going to have a meeting/debate, treat all the same. As soon as I heard him say to a lady, whom had respect to hm by calling him Mr. Bush/Premier, he retaliated by saying 'listen to me little girl', and quickly retracted.

    That was my last straw of having any respect for him. I have respect for my government, but no longer for him.

    What we need to look at is the word 'fee'. If I'm correct, and I will look it up after in the dictionary, fee is for a service. What service will the ex-pat be receiving? I'm not out here to say get rid of everything, I'm just trying to get answers from the numerous questions asked but never answered.

    Is it true that the rumor of his fellow constituents are slowly turning their back on him? I hear this may be true.

    When are Chavez & Castro visiting? Must be soon.

  2. Reality Bites says:

    The Government has Miscalculated. The people who come to Cayman (all of them) who are not Caymanian, came here, originally, because there is no direct taxation. For all the love of Country and talk of love for how great it is here and all the outpouring of good-vibrations that Cayman is special…  everything..  EVERYTHING that comes out of people's mouths stems from the fact that there is no direct taxation. Take that away and there will be love alright.  Love for Singapore,  love for Anguila, love for Bermuda, Love for Bahamas, Love for Monaco, Love for Luxembourg, Love for Switzerland, Love for Isle of Man, Love for London –   Do I need to keep going?  There IS TAX HERE NOW.  Call it a fee, a charge, a duty, a stamp, a cost, a service -the businesses and peopel and operators and Companies (often the same sandle clad shmos you see at Fosters)  who came here are perfectly mobile and can see through the smokescreen of verbiage. 

    This is the mother of all miscalculations.  There hase been no greater piece of government foolishness in 20 years here, than this.  

    Those who think this will pass without MATERIAL repercussion are dramatically mistaken..  These islands and their economy are in genuine trouble if it passes. First and Last comment here.

    • Anonymous says:

      You cannot speak for all.  I for one came here because it is a better place to raise children.  No taxation didn't even come into it.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I am correct to say that since this a revenue making venture for the government, it is now essential to ensure expats are always employed instead of Caymanians.   

    • Anonymous says:

      I agree with the Premier on the community enhancement fee, however it is my humble opinion that whether one is making $1.00 or over $36,000 they use the same basic services and if it's a community enhancement fee everyone should pay their share.  Mr. Premier you need to go back to the drawing board on this one and make it from $1.00 to any amount.  The person that is making under $36,000 still drive on the same road, use the same sewage, need medical and police services, in the event of a natural disaster government must take care of them in the same way so nothing is really different when it comes to duty and care for an expat making under or above $36,000 and government need to stop this kind of thinking it is what has gotten us in trouble time and time again.  I use to love the policies of Mr. Jim because he would say if you can't afford to live here then you should not be here.  Any country that is successful has that same attitude.  I don't live in Bermuda because I cannot afford the lifestyle nor do I like their restrictions.   I would love to live in Monaco but again I cannot afford the lifestyle so as much as I would like to live and work there it is not possible.  The Cayman islands need to see themselves as great as Bermuda and Monaco and stop making the kind of compromises that will only let us become what we dislike so much "Third World".

      • Truthseeker says:

        Yes, and as they already live in a land of indirect taxation (as you do) they already pay their share. You want them to pay your share too!  Do they get free schooling for their children like you do? NO! $1000 per term, I am told. Do they get free medical? Zero! . What about social services? I don't think they should get these serviced for free, but when I hear a radio host  expounding on the need for extra taxes on expat school children"because of the school in Frank Sound"'  it makes my blood boil. Only Caymanian school chidren are welcome there!

    • Anonymous says:

      Since the eary 1990s expats were the majority in jobs so nothing has changed since then and it will continue.  The only jobs that are exclusive to Caymanians are Politicians and that too will change and the day that changes it will never again return to the hands of Caymanians and I really await the day.

  4. Fully awake says:

    Sorry Mr. Bush,

    I am VERY awake. And your policies are not only folly, but death to my home.

    Quit blaming others, and stop wasting my time, and destroying my childrens’ future.

    Go to school, or at least listen to those that have. Your economic constricting measures continue to severely shrink our economy. The end can be foreseen, and it is Jamaica.

    Want some revenue cuts?! Here are a few easy ones.

    Cut half of the MLAs. 50,000 people. Do we on any planet need that many representatives for such a small islanc. It would be okay if any of them were effective. But what we have are Wasters, dictators, and sheep. That should be an easy million dollars in savings.

    Disallow pension collection for active govt. employees. It is patently offensive and morally wrong.

    Require tendering for all capital projects. Non nepotism.

    Do no allow despot politicians to use private funds for ANY non public use…Including anti one man one vote full page ads, priivate plane flights, and back door financing deals.

    That alone should save about 2 mil.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Flying by the seat of our pants, are we?


    Why my peeple hatin me

    Even wen deir fridge for free?

    It bodders me to some extent

    Dat dey protesteth my event.


    It's my event where I likes to speak

    'bout conspiracies that sound all Greek.

    If only Miller and his Depends

    would stop harrassin me and my friendz.


    Me friendz  dey like me an’ my tax

    Dey tell me so by cell an’ fax.

    Tax da expat freeze his wage

    Tax da bed in which he lays.


    If he hollas tax him more

    Tax him til he good and sore.

    Cibyll Service getting no cut back

    If they do they cuss me black.


    If dey cuss I cuss dem out

    I got belly and I got mouth.

    So if you hate my disconnection

    Vote me out at da next election.







  6. The Free Ride Continues. says:

    Expats Already contribute The signifcant portion of the governments revenues more than 50% already originate from Expat workers. Why are "Caymanians" Suggesting that Expats do not contribute at all and need to pay more.  The Expat Commuinty accounts for approximately two thirds of the total head count on the island. That means the majority of imports such as food, gas, and so on… this is all direct revenue to the Government Levied as Import dutys further Workpermit Fee's account for tens of millions of dollars per year most likly much much more.


    If the Government wants to maintain such a high level of wasteful spending They will need to consider much more significant revenue sources Such as gaming if casino's were introduced A port would be built for free for cayman this offer was already made years ago. property values in the resort areas would soar as billions of dollars flood into the local markets builing up the infrastructure for the industry Dart would have lots of competition on his hands.

  7. Anonymous says:
    20k --- 30k - doesn't matter the results will be the same.
    The World has taken notice of this.
    Stop the hemorrhaging, reduce government spending.
    Enough is enough. 

    And to poster "IT SEEMS FAIR" — You do not deserve any answers to your simple minded questions. But alas, you will receive some.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Well hopefully I can get a job now with Immigration : 0

  9. Anonymous says:

    How about putting a cap on certian countries for the amount of work permits such as Jamaica,Phillipines, India,Pakistan and Ukrain and Bosnia.

    or you are going to run this country into the ground like those countries until you realize and understand history?

    Honestly the Immigration system does not work now so i dont see how this will help Caymanins get employment or the 10% collected.What do you have to show pay stubs? Will cash be pay or check only? What about monitoring cash tips for hospitality industry?   

  10. MacBeaver Mush says:

    McKeeva has lost the plot.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Kee Kee is the absolute king of "Fire – Ready –  Aim".

    He should not be left in charge of his own teeth.

  12. Knot S Smart says:

    Dont worry folks – if the wind changes direction tonight he will just forget all about the silly idea by tomorrow…

  13. Anonymous says:

    Tens of throusands $s are transferred out of the Cayman economy by expatriates every week (millions every year). Put 2% duty on money transfers out of the country.

    • Then it was gone says:

      He threatened that before, and me and everyone else with more than 6 zeros behind them wired their money out and away from the CIG's reach that day.  Notably, some banks had "capitalization issues" shortly after that announcement.  If you try this we'll simply wire the savings out now before it starts and take out the rest in cash when we go shopping in Miami.  You'll catch a few dollars from those low income workers sending money back home by those transfer services, since they don't go shopping in Miami that often, but are those poor folks the ones you really want to put the squeeze on?

    • Anon says:

      iit's currently 5% for money transfers, you are behind the times

    • Anonymous says:

      I heard this same idea by a caller to the radio talk show. It may have been you. You don't seem to understand that money must leave our shores everyday in order to replace the food we eat, the fuel we consume and all our other needs for survival or comfort. By taxing this outflow of money would be the same as adding another 2% on import duty when the goods we purchase come back in. That was already done when the Premier upped the duty from 20% to 22%. Look at what that did to the country. Every increase in tax  ends up being paid by we the consumers in the end which makes our cost of living higher and government poorer. Less government and less tax is what is needed here to stimulate spending and a healthy economy. This government has raises fees and taxes in every area it could since taking office and now we can truly say that the result is not more revenue for government but rather, less spending power for the people who generate the revenue government needs. Eventually when they have levied their last tax and are still in deficit they may see the light. When the money runs out and they are no longer able to get bridge loans, the ability to make payroll to Civil Service will end and there will be a whole lot of Civil Servants either working for free or rioting in the streets. Only then will the necessary tax relief come.


    • Anonymous says:

      there is already a tax on money transfers

    • Anonymous says:

      Idiot, where do you think those tens of thousands (millions every year) are coming from.  Not Cayman.  So what if it leaves.  It's not like Cayman is creating this wealth.

    • Anonymous says:

      Actually, over a million dollars a day leaves Cayman just to replace the food we all eat. Even more leaves to replace the rest of the stuff. I think you mean you want to tax money leaving by wire through Western Union and Quick Cash type services where expats send money home to their families. If we discourage them frm coming here to work do you think Caymanians will wait on tables at restaurants or serve as cashiers? They can now but choose not to.



    • morse says:

      What about ex pat money coming in. Do they get 2 per cent on their money?

      • Anonymous says:

        Expat money coming in????  From where my friend?  If you had money elsewhere you would NOT be here.

        • Anonymous says:

          You really don’t understand the concept of a tax neutral jurisfiction, do you?

    • Anonymous says:

      Dumbo, this is already being done. You sound like then illiterates who look to blog foolishly.

      How bout you get a clue next time?

    • Anonymous says:

      Not sure you understand what your economy is based on (hint: untaxed money). Start putting taxes on money transfers and the financial services industry will be dead before the expats have even boarded a plane out…

  14. Anonymous says:

    This policy is being drafted piecemeal on the back of napkins and beer mats.  What a sorry state of incompetent affairs.

    • noname says:

      Like the US and other developed countries THE RCIP SHOULD BE ONE OF



      FINES for Littering the streets


      DUI including free government labor cleaning up the streets save money on PWD

      Driving without Insurance

      Driving without a Seat Belt on

      Driving with a baby jumping around in the car not in safety seat,

      Driving without a DRL

      Driving with faulty condition

      Driving with one head light

      Driving with no tail light

      Driving on the wrong side of the road

      And so much more. …think of something and post it

      • Knot S Smart says:

        I can add some to your list

        Driving in the sunlight

        Driving in the rain

        Talking to your passenger while driving

        Looking at women in bikinis while driving

        Oops I will get caught every day  – so skip that last one…

      • Anonymous says:

        If we could only collect $10 for every time a police officer goes through a round about driving with his knees while talking on a cell phone and eating a pattie at the same time, then the country would be rich.

        As another money maker we could charge them $2 per hour for sitting in their cars – parked with the A/C on – that would bring in another million or two.

      • Anonymous says:

        Repeatedly responding to faulty burglar alarms.  If your system is faulty you should get it fixed.


  15. Anna Dult says:

    If we enact a tax, and it is illegal not to pay it, we can no longer hide behind the concept of "dual criminality" when allowing foreign nationals and corporations to open bank accounts here to avoid taxation in their home countries.

    • Anonymous says:

      I think that you will find that this government signed away the concept of "dual criminality" in all those unread but hastily signed tax agreements that they put in place at the request of the OECD tax collectors.

      • Anonymous says:

        I thought Dual Criminality was dividing the country into 9 electoral districts of 2 members.

    • Anonymous says:

      You really don't know what you're talking about.  Do the initials PCCL, KYC, FATCA, EUSTD, OECD mean anything at all to you?  Type them into Google next to the word Cayman and learn something before posting uneducated, inane and unhelpful comments.

      • Anna Dult says:

        As far as I am aware tax avoidance / tax evasion is not a currently a crime in Cayman.  That was the point I was trying to make.  Correct me if I am wrong.


        • CPA says:

          Tax avoidance isn't a crime here, or anywhere else. Tax evasion in most other places and is here, too (for instance, it's a crime to falsify invoices to pay less import duty or to falsify a contract to buy property to pay less stamp duty). Tax evasion used to be prevalent in the Cayman Islands with respect to foreign nationals trying to evade taxes owed in their own jurisdictions. If a person is evading taxes on money earned illegally (which is what the Americans jailed Al Capone on) then it could be considered a crime here under the Proceeds of Criminal Conduct Law.  It's true that other forms of tax evasion on money earned legally in other jusiridictions isn't a crime here, it can rarely happen any more because of all the regulatory legislation Cayman has signed on to. FATCA, in particular, will virtually endeven attempted tax evasion by Americans in Cayman (and most other countries where Americans do business).

          • Anna Dult says:

            Thanks everyone for clearing that up, it has been about 10 years since I worked in banking, so I am definitely behind the times  🙂

    • SKEPTICAL says:

      Could be a very pertinent point

    • Anonymous says:

      Err… that test went out with the 1990s. 

  16. Anonymous says:

    Can someone remind me how the SEZ is beneficial to Cayman? They pay almost no work permit fees and have numerous concessions, so there is no direct revenue to Govt, yet Govt is prepared to introduce taxes on work permit holders which will have a long last negative impact to Cayman, to make up for its short fall. Remind me again how this makes sense.

    • Anonymous also says:

      Yup no income tax for those in the "zone".

    • smitty says:

      Don't worry – the SEZ candidates have heard by now of the MACroscopic instability in the Cayman Islands and have decided to go to one of the hundreds and hundreds of other SEZs in the world:

      Mac's "Extinction Event" means we don't have to talk about these sorts of things anymore.  The large lady is done singing, and the Operata Camania is over.

  17. Anonymous says:

    "…the suggestion that immigration will be charged with collecting the fee suggests that it would be linked to work permits, which may means the tax will have to be paid annually, creating particular hardship for lower paid employees, or that the department will need to create a new enforcement arm to collect on a more regular basis."

    The whole tax thing is ludicrous in any event, but even if we were to entertain it, should Immigration to expect to receive this payment annually upon the renewal of a work permit, how the heck would someone bringing home $577 a week, be able to come up with a $3,000+ annual payment one month in a year, and still be able to afford to pay their rent, utilities, feed and clothe their children, etc. in that same month? 

    The whole idea is complete madness.  Stuff your tax and start doing what you're afraid to do Mac, cut those top-level salaries and top level people tossing it off on their jobs for $100,000+ per year, take those cuts in salaries you all promised us but renegued upon, stop spending money like a crack addict and start doing your frickin job.  If you can't, do the right thing and step down you are killing us all.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Like it except this road toll idea, DMS gent said the same thing, leave the tolls and 10 cents per mile stuff at the door, that is just crap

  19. Local says:

    Well I hope no Caymanian isn't complaining about an increase in work permit fees?

    This will provide another incentive to use local labour.

    • Anonymous says:

      You should read your post – this is precisely why companies have to hire expats – you can't even write a sentence in proper English.  Nice double negative…   

    • Anonymous says:

      Idiot, first you need to have the motivation to work in the first place. I can't wait to see the bars and restaurants full of Caymanian staff, I hope you're not thirsty or hungry.

  20. MacTaxman Cometh says:

    I gaw one tax ya. I goin' throw on dem expats and if they leave I goin' throw it on whoever is left.


  21. IT SEEMS FAIR says:

    I would like the expatriate community to write here on this media and explain why they do not want to contribute to anything in Cayman.  I am a Caymanian and I welcome expatriates, but I want them to tell me why they should not contribute.  Also please tell me where will they go to live comfortable, very comfortable, and does not have to pay some form of tax.   No one will alswer this I am sure.  If there was a better place than Cayman, then please geive me one good reason why do you  stay here and put up with this nonsence as you may call it.  Now give me reason.

    • -- says:

      Yes, other places would have "us" paying taxes.  However, "there" everyone pays, not just "us". The discriminating nature (public sector vs. private sector & Caymanian vs. Expat) of this proposal is the biggest fault. 

      Let’s try another way, what if it was proposed that only Caymanians pay (seeing how this is their home, it seems fair) and Ex-pats would not (hey, we’ll get booted soon anyways).  Would you find this fair?  Probaly not.

      Tax one, tax all.

      Making more sense for you?

      There, someone responded.  

    • Anonymous says:

      Expats do contribute. The financial services, banking, insurance, legal and accounting industries that employ so many people here were all established with international experience and continue to rely on experts from all over the world in order to provide a world class level of service. They employ Caymanians directly, who are then exposed to that expertise and have the opportunity to become highly employable themselves. 


      Expats also spend with the local restaurants, shops and service providers like Cayman Airways which are owned by Caymanians in accordance with the LCC Law and which employ Caymanians. 


      The government makes income from the financial services sector, from duty, from work permits and from foreign companies brought here by the expat community which it then uses to employ and provide benefits to thousands of Caymanians.


      And the reason we are here, for the most part, is because we don't have to pay tax. 


      The answer to your question "where will they go to live comfortable, very comfortable, and does not have to pay some form of tax" is somewhere else.

    • Anonymous says:

      Dude, you are so in darkness.. My employer already pays 10-15% of my annual salary as a workpermit fee. Now I have to pay 10-15%. So it comes to 30% on my annual salary. Do you want me to continue? You better ask your CIG if stolen "fuel" money will be recovered and thieves are prosecuted. Those thieves is your government….

    • Anonymous says:

      Expats already contribute, both directly and indirectly.

      Directly they contributein the same way as Caymanians, through duty on consumption.

      Indirectly they contribute through the cost of their work permit.

      Further they contribute to the local economy by renting property from Caymanian landlords, through sending their children to the private schools and nurseries, through using the private medical care, the national airline etc etc.

      Often the family and the friends of the expat will come to visit, more contribution to the Cayman economy.

      It isn't a case of expats being unwilling to contribute, like I said above, they already contribute in the same way as Caymanians, which is fair.  Read through the many articles here and in other local and global publications as to why people are objecting to the suggestion of taxation.

      As a final point, consider this… Mr Shrub earns $10k a month, he likes to fly business class, eat in fancy restaurants, drink the best champagne, wear fancy clothes etc which costs him $11k a month.  If you were his employer and he came to you and asked for a salary increase to $11k a month for absolutely nothing in return so he can continue with his spending habits what would you do, tell him to cut his spending to a level he can afford, or give him the extra cash?  If you choose to do the latter, what do you do when he is spending $12k a month and asks for another raise??

    • JTB says:

      The premise of your question is fatuous.


      Expatriates already contribute more to CI public funds than Caymanians do, through work permit fees. They also pay import duty, fuel duty, vehicle registrations, stamp duty, they shop here, rent and buy property here, and by their labours generate economic activity and bring in revenue.

    • Bridge to nowhere says:

      Here's another reason:

      I contribute a lot more than most Caymanians. Beyond the fact that my employer pays a large work permit fee, I paid a higher stamp duty for my condo than a Caymanian would have. I have done hundreds of hours of community service for several causes since I have been here. I have donated thousands of dollars to local charities. I work very, very hard,  which helps keep the Caymanians in my workplace employed (some of whom frankly contribute very little in the way of actual work, even when they are not taking one of their annual 10 days of sick leave).  I have taken several Caymanians who have shown some initiative, a good attitude and work ethic under my wing at my workplace and taught them some of the specialist skills I have learned through my education and work experience, allowing these people to assume greater responsibilities and to receieve pay rises. I obey the law and follow the rules of civil society, which is more than I can say about some of the locals. Except for what I spend on holidays abroad, I spend or invest almost all of the money I earn in the Cayman Islands.

      That's what I contribute.  What about you?

    • Anonymous says:

      OK, I am bored enough to bite.  Other than the work permit fee paid on my behalf by my employer, the food I buy at Foster's and Kirk's, the petrol I buy at Texaco and Esso, the dinners and drinks I buy at various restaurants, the other purchases I make at stores, the duty I pay on anything I ship in from overseas, the vehicle license duty I pay each year, the insurance renewal premiums (including government tax) I pay each year on my house and my car, the stamp duty paid on each cheque book I get from my bank, the PO box annual charge I pay, the utilities I pay to CUC, Cayman Water, LIME, Digicel and WestStar, the money I pay to local tradesmen for work done, no, I don't contribute one cent to Cayman or its economy.  Shame on me, I am now thinking if 10% is really enough to make up for all my free-loading.

    • Anonymous says:

      Expats contribute by being here, sucking in dollars to Cayman based enterprises and spending their salaries here. So what if they send money home? Its a percentage of money that wouldnt be here otherwise. Who would keep all their cash here when they’re at the mercy of immigration/ the Cayman goverment?
      You shouldnt lose sight of the fact that the Cayman economy is based on pieces of paper – not oil, not copper, but words. The place is great, but sorry, not that great, and it could plummet back to poverty virtually overnight. The ideaof taxing a migrant population in order to fund bloated spending….well, it will make all these expats with get up and go get up and go.

    • Anonymous says:

      The real question is why do you as a Caymanian expect expats to pay while you don't.

      Expats take very little out Cayman's coffers, compared to Caymanians who:

      1) get free education

      2) get free healthcare and pensions

      3) get free gas

      4) nicely paved driveways for free

      5) free air travel onthe government subsidised Cayman Airways

      6) Over 90% of civil service are Caymanian, directly using government coffers

      7) welfare money (unemplooyed expats simple leave)

      Then think who's presence in Cayman already contributes the most, yes the expat, there presence provides work permit fees, they don't have contacts in customs so pay full duty on any imports, they pay full stamp duty on house purchases (no first time deduction from them).

      So expats see little benefit to any taxes they pay, at least in the country the hail from when they pay taxes they see benefits from them.

      Why do you think some one else should pay to give you a free ride?



    • Anonymous says:

      Paying this tax would be acceptable by me if I thought the money would actually go to the country and not be mismanaged; but I don't think it would be managed property so it would be a complete waste of money. Being rolled out in 7 yrs, doesn't give the incentive to want to contribute. Ireland, Channel Islands, Canada, there are many countries that are comfortable and have a lot to offer – some with tax but then rights would go along with tax. I knew that I wouldn't stay in Cayman and left after 6 yrs.

    • Anonymous says:

      How have I contributed? Well: I paid a load of stamp duty when I purchased a house, I pay duties on everything I purchase, I pay duties on everything I import, I fly Cayman Airways, I have purchased two cars, I pay stupidly high medical insurance rates, my employee pays my work permit fees. These are all fees that everyone on island pays and are used by CIG to help run the country. I volunteer my time to charitable causes. I am directly responsible for and train Caymanians at my work. I like to think that my performance at work from time to time contributes to my Caymanian employer's benefit. How do I not contribute?Actually, don't many expats contribute more than Caymanians whose employers don't have to pay a work permit fee and who receive reduced stamp duty rates on real estate transactions?

      I hope you realise that CIG's number source of revenue by a long way is work permit fees. Does that make it any clearer how I contribute?

      Would a 10% tax cause me to leave? No, although I number of people may. I would have to leave when all the offshore business decides to go elsewhere as a result of Cayman's financial industry no longer be recognised as a tax neutral jurisdiction. Where would I go? I don't know, it's a big world out there, perhaps somewhere where my contributions are more appreciated. But don't worry, as long as you don't shop, eat or need to spend money anywhere that directly or indirectly relies on expat employees then your cost of living won't go up and you won't need to "contribute" anything more than you and I are doing currently. And as long as none of your friends or family are employed or rely on the financial services industry then all should be rosy for you.

      In saying all that, I don't want to leave, I love living here. To me, it's not so much about the 10% it's that this is sign of instability, racisim and a government that appears to have no idea of what they are doing.

      The FCIA, enterprise city, oil refinary I can all somewhat undestand, although don't necessarily agree with. Potentially jepordising the entire financial industry is something that should alarm everyone.

      Don't simplify this by trying to make it about Cayman vs Expat. It's not, you must understand that this impacts the entire country and everyone living and contributing here.

      There, someone else replied.

      • Anonymous says:

        Smartest comment here. Fact that there are not 200 thumbs up votes shows me that everyone is either watching the Olympics, Packing their bags, Or unaware Of the train wreck ahead the very utterances of these tax talks have created. The elevator has begun its decent .. First people off will be the real winners.

    • Anonymous says:

      What a ridiculous post. Perhaps all ex-pats should leave and take their non-contributions with them?

    • Anonymous says:

      Expats already contribute just as much as Caymanians through all of the regular government revenue channels like import duties, fees etc. This is a level playing field from that perspective.


      On top of that private sector expats contribute a bit more through work permit fees.


      Also, a lot of expats contribute their time to the community through public service. I am an expat and also a proud member of Rotary International. As a Rotarian I value service above self and contributue both time and money to every community in which I live.

    • Anonymous says:

      I already pay taxes here, on groceries, petrol,rent, health insurance and schooling, the last two things are the main reasons expats are not happy about paying taxa, when my family and myself leave cayman I will pay tax in uk but schooling for my child will be free, groceries will be cheaper, house insurance will be cheaper, cars will be cheaper, alcohol will be cheaper, pet care will be cheaper, electric and gas will be cheaper, just because I dont pay an income tax does not mean I don’t pay tax here in cayman because there are so many things we pay more for here than in the UK in the form of duty a loaf of bread costs about 40 cents at home and a gallon of milk costs around $2.00.

      My family and friends have been to visit Cayman numerous times and have brought licences to drive here and spent money on souvenirs as well as paying duty on gifts for my family, and when they are here we dine out more which contrabutes to the local econmy and perhaps pays a cayman salary, all of which will stop because once we leave they won’t come here to visit these islands they will vacation some where else instead of coming here to visit my family.

      I have a work permit and so does my wife which again the county will lose, and if enough expats leave the govement will lose thousands of dollars in work permit fees, duty on goods because local company’s will not bring in so much product to sell.

      In Cayman then crime use to be low but is increasing and as people have to pay more money on tax or save money by not going out as much unemployment will rise and I can only see an increase in crime, how many bank raids have there been this year? How long before these thugs start raiding your home for money.

      I could go to the pacific islands and pay no tax, Gurnsey, Jersey, isle of man and again pay no income tax but there will be some sort of hidden tax like there is here I am sure.

      But I will go back to my own beautiful country which has no hurricanes, green countryside pleasant temperature and every one pays taxes not just expats

    • Anonymous says:

      What have you as a Caymanian contributed to your own country?

    • Anonymous says:

      I could send the question back to you. Why don’t the Caymanians have to contribute to their own society? Why expect the expats to pay for your services and lifestyle?

      Thruth is, expats are already contributing to the government’s revenue a lot more than locals do. You just want to have your cake and eat it too. Greedy fella.

    • Anonymous says:

      Oops, miscalculated that one dummy. It isn't any wonder why this country is in the mess its in when stupid, uneducated isolationists make such ridiculous statements. Where on earth do you think all the money comes from to enable you to freeload through life?


    • Anonymous says:

      Forty six percent of Americans pay no income tax under the IRS laws. Mitt Romney, the presidential hopeful, paid tax at a 15% average rate last year according to his tax return.

      It is cheaper in all respects to live abroad.

    • Anonymous says:

      Who is allowed to vote?  Who votes in the governments?  Who 'over' spends all the money?  Who are you taxing? 

  22. Anonymous says:

    If memory serves was this not the same idea with the health and pension to be tied to work permits and collected in this same manner suggested in the article for tax collection?

    That was a complete failure with many business owners still pocketing the employees contributions and deductions and the Immigration department never able to control any of it, never even able to start any type of oversight.

    And now you think the Immigration department can collect this new discriminatory tax?

    This tax collection is doomed to fail because the one man who is implementing it has not the sense God gave a hamster and has not the faintest idea how it will be done or how much it will cost to even get started.

    Our Government is a laughing stock all over the world


  23. Anonymous says:

    Enough with the side show let’s get some real solutions now.

    Government hello are you listening?



    Any real leaders out there?

  24. Anonymous says:

    For those of you who say its going to cost millions to collect, require additonal staff, training etc., you are delusional. All Mac plans to do is require Immigration to collect the tax along with the work permit fee. That is, your job letter will describe your postion and salary. You can't lie because you will get caught when you apply for residency. So the system to collect these fees is already in place. The obvious question here is, do people have to pay their taxes in advance? To that I say, doesn't Mac need the money NOW? Mark my words, he is destroying Cayman faster than you can say God Save the Queen. He is utterly incapable of solving the problem and worse, he doesn't even know this. 



    • Anonymous says:

      Why not simply raise work permit fees by 10% of the salary to be paid and not call the additional revenue a tax/community enhancement fee.  Would have saved alot of debate!

      • Anonymous says:

        Because the objective is to get expat employees to bear the tax and work permits must by law be paid by employers, some of whom will be Caymanian and voters.

        • Caymanian Lament says:

          Unless the law is amended to allow employers to split the work permit fee with employees. Problem solved.

    • Local says:


      Increasing work permit fees will help Caymanians.

      • Anonymous says:

        Were you looking in the mirror when you said 'idiot' by any chance?

      • Anonymous says:

        Genius! Successive governments have only increased fees. Yet Caymanians cry that they are worse of today than ever before, well excluding the first 460 years. So please, explain how increasing work permit fees will help Caymanians. Given your conviction, I can only assume you have numerous examples. If you cannot, perhaps its time to rethink your logic. 


    • Tax E Driver says:

      Surely you don't think that an island full of experts in tax avoidance will have any issue getting around this???  Salary?  No, I don't get a salary.  I live off of dividends I get for a stock of an Ireland company, paid into a trust in Guernsey that's not in my name which distributes money once in a while.  This stuff I'm doing here?  Nah, it's not work – it's just volunteer stuff with only my expenses getting paid.  There's no salary here.  Now that I think about it, I probably don't need a work permit.  Actually, I might as well go live in London since I'm not taxable at all now anyway.  Easy enough to "volunteer" from there.  Taxi!!!!!

  25. Anonymous says:

    Once Mac choses a path, he only stops when forced to. Will the good Caymanians please stand up to this uneducated fool. He is rapidly destroying thecountry. Where are the following business families? K's, F's, T's Come on, you do not live in a vaccum. 

  26. Anonymous says:

    just cut the civil service already!!!

  27. Anonymous says:

    I simply cannot fathom why McKeeva is still sticking with this ill thought out,  absolutely ludicrous idea? Is he really gambling with our future over politics????? I am seriously completely at a lost. For an individual that was always pro-business WTH this is a complete turn around and makes NO sense.

    This will forever change this Country, the already negative ramifications felt are irreversible.

    I appeal to whatever small amount of love of Country that you have left to please withdraw this nonsense, admit that you are wrong and work with the community to find alternatives to balance our budget and start to repair some of the damage that has already been done.

  28. Bling man says:

    Mr. Premier, I nah blieve nothin yah say.  I nah blieve yah have clean hands neithah.  Yah gone tax everbody.

  29. Anonymous says:

    who cares what mckeeva says anymore…the revolution has begun…… his time is done…

  30. Anonymous says:

    Excellent!  Wait thats not the point at all…

  31. Anonymous says:

    Wow! This whole “direct tax thing” was really well thought out!

  32. Anonymous says:

    Oh 30k? Thank God I was really worried there for a second…

  33. Anonymous says:

    Changes, changes and more changes. It looks like our Premier is comparable with an octopus on rollerskates, there is plenty of movement but he does not seem to know whether he is going forward, backward or sideways.

    It simply baffles me why he can't take on any of the advice offered as alternates to direct taxation by so many local proven and experieced experts before our country goes off the deep end. 

  34. Anonymous says:

    Cayman has been living on borrowed money for a long time. Now that all the credit available has been spent to the maximum, it seems that the only solution they can come up with is to make someone else pay for the bills.

    Anyway, it won't be long until that tax money is spent or wasted as well and the budget can't be balanced again; then will come tax on businesses and all residents, including Caymanian.

  35. Anonymous says:

    What a circus! How's changing the threshold to $30k going to make any difference? They could make it a 100% tax on everything and it still wouldn't be enough until the government learns to stop wasting millions of dollars without transparency or accountability.  Any steps that do not address that fundamental problem is just kicking the can down the road a little further.

  36. Anonymous says:

    Imagine all the expats who will suddenly be earning under 30k per annum (on paper) lmfao…..employers will find a way to beat this no matter what. Every1 seems smarter than our premier. To put this in the hands of our already INCOMPETENT immigration department will certainly ensure there is no smooth sailing. Immigration is after all the MAIN reason for so many work permits to begin with because if they were properly doing their jobs and being thorough we'd have 50% less expat workers.

  37. progress says:

    Alternatives to tax (part 1 of 2)

    "I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat." — Winston Churchill in a speech to the house of commons, 13 May 1940.

    Winston Churchill spoke to the British nation during a time of crisis, a time of war. The Cayman Islands is currently facing a crisis of epic proportions, perhaps the greatest in our history. But it is a time of crisis that defines the character of a people and the nature of its leaders.

    Now is the time for all men and women of goodwill — from Caymanians to expats, from business people to civil servants — to unite and offer “blood, toil, tears and sweat” to save these Cayman Islands that we all love. And there is more. Let us first focus on saving Cayman, and then make our beloved nation prosper and soar for the benefit of all people — from those who have lived here for generations to those that have recently adopted the Cayman Islands as their home.

    To begin our rescue of the Cayman Islands, let us start with an obvious fact.The idea of introducing the first ever direct taxes in the Cayman Islands is, in the words of Forbes, nothing less than committing self-inflicted financial suicide. It is, as I have written before (, antithetical to the business model (how we make money) of a tax free nation.

    But wait, how can it be self-inflicted suicide? Hasn’t it been claimed that the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) requires the Cayman Islands to impose taxation? No, the FCO is asking the Government to create a balanced budget with sustainable revenue or cost savings (meaning they are are not one-off sources of revenue or savings, but rather predictable, recurring annual sources of income or savings). What are our options for sustainable revenue or cost-savings? The options broadly speaking fall into the following categories: (A) direct taxes, (B) indirect taxes, (C) budget cuts as well as (D) creative, courageous voluntary sources of revenue and cost savings (see below).

    A direct tax like the payroll tax proposed by the Government is the knife that will kill the goose that lay the golden eggs (see my comments here This eliminates category A above so we are now left with solutions in category B, C and D (see list of proposed solutions below).

    Likewise, while it may be a desirable long-term objective to reduce the number of civil servants, we have to realize that this is political suicide with an election less than 12 months away. No government in Europe or North America would make major reductions to pensions or the civil service during an election year, so we should not expect it to happen here (that’s not to say it couldn’t happen in the first year of a future Government, but that’s something that will have to be considered another day).

    In the meantime let us focus on things that can be done here and now, which does NOT require direct taxes, and which can be done without the UK’s FCO involvement — in other words, solutions that fall into the following categories: indirect taxes, budget cuts (excluding cutting the staff of the civil service) as well as creative, courageous voluntary sources of revenue and cost savings.

    Top 10 ways to balance the budget in a sustainable way without direct taxes:

    1. Create a national Cayman Islands Lottery. The Texas Lottery has generated well over $19 billion for the state of Texas since the first ticket was sold in 1992 (
    2. Institute an (additional) $10 to $20 fee for passengers arriving in the airport.
    3. Launch a US$ / CI$ exchange fee and a fee on outgoing wire transfers originated by individuals.
    4. Introduce toll roads with a fee for certain roads ranging from $.25 to $1
    5. Commence higher fees for traffic violations (e.g. speeding, parking violations) which would also decrease the number of accidents and related health care costs.
    6. Begin a nation building initiative for all people who reside in the Cayman Islands. As a Nation Building Initiative, each church that received nation building funds could organize a fundraising drive to raise the equivalent amount that was received by the government — and give that amount back to the Government as God’s gift to the Cayman Islands. To show unity with everyone in the Cayman Islands, any individual or corporation that has received special concessions since the beginning of the global financial crisis could voluntarily elect to refund those amounts to the people of the Cayman Islands through a check to the Government (this would include DART and the Ritz-Carlton). The PPM and UDP could sign a written pledge to cease special concessions in the future. This will also be a great insurance policy against any potential corruption.
    7. To take full responsibility for the current crisis — which has been created by both the PPM and the UDP — all MLAs could voluntarily pledge to reduce their monthly salary to $1 until they have reached a balanced, sustainable budget that does NOT include direct taxation. Similarly, members of the civil service could elect to voluntarily donate 1 months worth of salary. A website could be created by a volunteer to honor the MLAs and civil servants that take this generous action.
    8. Set up sponsorship opportunities and a Cayman Hall of Fame. Private universities around the world raise billions of dollars from donors who name buildings on their campuses. The government could create a program where major public buildings (e.g. the airport, schools) could be renamed after a corporate sponsor in return for a recurring annual sponsorship fee. Many of these buildings are currently named after people who have performed great service to the Cayman Islands — so to honor their contributions we can place their names in a Cayman Hall of Fame.Ten percent of the income from the sponsorships can be set aside for the Cayman Hall of Fame so 90% of the sponsorships can go to support the Government budget.
    9. Begin the No Caymanian Left Behind Initiative. Let’s stamp out all unemployment in the Cayman Island and get to 100% employment. Everyone lives on the same small islands — let’s be united for full employment. In addition to just being the right thing to do, it also has a big impact on the fiscal position of the Government. For each unemployed person who is placed in a new job, the Government saves a material monthly amount. Government could create a website — accessible to any employer in the Cayman Islands — with the resumes of all Caymanians who are currently unemployed. Individual members of the Chamber of Commerce and the Cayman United Against Tax group could become a Mentor and Coach for each unemployed Caymanian and work with them until they have a job. Once unemployed Caymanians are placed in jobs, their respective Mentors and Coaches could continue to offer support for the first year to ensurethat they are successful in their new jobs. The Government, the Chamber and members of the Cayman Against Tax group could also offer skill training and accelerated job placement activities. For example, Codecademy offers free training in learning how to develop computer programs ( Study groups and job fairs for students who have completed this training could be organized — along with Hackathons ( that are regularly used in Silicon Valley for people to showcase their programming skills and secure jobs or investors.
    10. Annual I Love Cayman Fundraising drive. Organize an annual fundraising drive held in August and available to everyone in the Cayman Islands — from Caymanians to expats, from firms owned by Caymanians to companies owned by expats, from business people to civil servants and MLAs — to support the budget of the Government. Participation would be completely voluntary. A website could be created to create a list of everyone who has contributed with the amount donated listed next to the name. Let’s show our support for these Cayman Islands that we all love. This is love in action.

    To be continued in part 2 of 2.

  38. Anonymous says:

    This is just a way of McKeeva stealing expats pension and health care.



  39. Anonymous says:

    A shoemeker should makes shoes. 

  40. Anonymous says:

    See what I mean! Mckeeva and UDP are completely clueless and keep making sh!t up as they go! They have NO real idea what the budget is or how much they need to steal to cover their extravagant reckless spending!

    NO taxes!
    You people are out of control and incompetent!!

  41. NoTax says:

    The tax plan has fundemental flaws in it.  The conversations I have had over the past few days highlight many of these, and this story raises more…

    If collected annually, what if the employee just doesn't renew the permit and leaves?  Does the employer get hit?  What about temporary permits?  Or is the company supposed to withhold and pay?  Again, what could happen is an annual winding up of companies that go bankrupt on 29 December and new ones start the next week…  Who would government chase?

    Immigration is already under a lot of pressure and isn't set up to handle this…  More staff?  Great – more expense…

    The end result is still the same – COSTS FOR EVERYONE will go up.  Employers will pass on the increased cost of doing business.  Everything will go up in price!!!  Not just goods (as they would under a duty increase) but also services!!

    I agree it could place greater pressure on companies to hire Caymanians, but, this is a catch-22…  Eventually, when the expat population drops and there is less tax being collected, the eyes will be turned on those same Caymanians to pick up the slack…  How would immigration collect then?

    Mac was on the radio briefly earlier this week touting the plan.  It came off as half baked and rushed and I think the droves of respected organisations and people both locally and abroad cautioning the damage that will be done should figure strongly in this.

    Mackeeva, do the right thing.  

    Explore more realistic and equitable options and don't become the leader that killed the golden goose that is Cayman's rich and favored status as a tax haven.  

    Please drop this plan…  Or it will be very hard for future generations to even think about putting Honourable in front of your name, let alone say it.

    Look at the Bahmas.  Look at Jamaica.  

    Do you want to be the one that turned Cayman's fortunes so quickly that it takes 30+ years to come close to recovery, as the financial industry shows you just how quickly it can uproot in an uncertain and unfriendly jurisdiction?  

    All because you are/were too proud to back down in the face of resistance?

  42. Anonymous says:

    More proof that Mr. Premier has not thought any of this through.  He has no idea what he is talking about. 

    He has no idea of the repurcussions his actions will cause and he does not care as long as he gets to keep his vote buying slush money.

  43. anonymous says:

    Changes like this just prove that they did not think this  through in the first place.  Typical of Mac and his government.

  44. Anonymous says:

    "…create a new enforcement arm…"


    What good will that do? The government has enacted many laws that are simply ignored without sanction or only with selective sanction.


    What a waste.

  45. Anonymous says:

    Obviously Bush is making this sh– up as he goes along. I wonder what brainstorm he will having while shaving tomorrow.