The Cayman Islands remains strong in complying with the international standards that govern the exchange of tax information among tax authorities, according to a report published today.
The Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes, an OECD body that is widely regarded as the most influential tax body in the world, based on its rigorous assessments and number of member jurisdictions, has evaluated Cayman as being largely compliant with the international standards.
Also receiving largely compliant ratings were Australia, Bermuda, Canada, Germany and Qatar, while Ireland, Mauritius and Norway were rated as compliant. Jamaica received a partially compliant rating.
The evaluation was conducted in accordance with the Global Forum’s 2016 revised terms of reference, which set a significantly higher standard compared to the previous 2010 terms of reference.
‘Cayman tested very well against this more rigorous set of standards, and this clearly demonstrates the high quality of our cooperation with our treaty partners’, said Minister of Financial Services, the Hon. Tara Rivers.
The Global Forum assessment team considers ten criteria (called ‘elements’ in the report) when evaluating how its 144 member countries exchange tax information, upon request.
These elements covered the exchange of information arrangements that were signed, and laws and regulations that were in force or effective, as at 24 May 2017; Cayman’s practices, in respect of requests made and received from 1 April 2013 – 31 March 2016; information about Cayman supplied by Global Forum partner jurisdictions; and information provided by Cayman’s authorities during the Global Forum assessment team’s on-site visit, which took place from 9–11 January 2017.
Each of the 10 elements is rated compliant, largely compliant, partially compliant, or noncompliant. Cayman’s overall ‘largely compliant’ rating is based on receiving three ratings of largely compliant, and seven ratings of compliant.
The Global Forum’s practice is to issue recommendations as part of its reports. For example, one of the 10 elements states that jurisdictions should ensure that reliable accounting records are kept for all relevant entities and arrangements.
Although Cayman was rated largely compliant on this element, the Global Forum recommends that Cayman implement an effective system of oversight and enforcement to support the legal requirements pertaining to accounting records. A follow up report on steps undertaken by Cayman to address the recommendations is to be provided to the Global Forum no later than 30 June 2018.
In noting Cayman’s strong overall rating, the Minister acknowledged the work of the Cayman Islands Tax Information Authority, which responds on behalf of the jurisdiction to requests for tax information exchange.
‘As the number of requests increase, the small but efficient staff in the Tax Information Authority have done a commendable job in maintaining global standards’, she said.
News source: Press release