The Premier, the Hon. Alden McLaughlin; and Minister of Financial Services and Home Affairs, the Hon. Tara Rivers, met with key EU decision makers in Brussels from 28-29 September to discuss the EU’s preparations for a list of non-cooperative tax jurisdictions.
‘Cayman has consistently engaged on tax matters with EU officials through correspondence and responses to their questions, as well as face-to-face meetings in April 2016 and February 2017’, the Premier said.
‘Our objective is to assist EU ministers of finance in their understanding of Cayman’s compliance efforts, prior to the EU’s December 2017 announcement of the jurisdictions that it considers to be noncompliant with global tax good governance standards’.
The Premier noted that a number of key outcomes were achieved during this visit.
- EU decision makers recognised Cayman’s commitment to tax transparency, and its overall track record on international regulatory standards.
- They considered Cayman’s maintenance of a ‘largely compliant’ rating on the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes as a positive result, in light of the Global Forum’s strengthened review processes.
- The Government delegation spoke about Cayman’s important role as an international financial centre, with a strong legal framework and commitment to global standards and transparency.
- They explained that Cayman has never had a direct tax system; that our consumption-based, indirect tax system treats residents and non-residents the same, with no preference given to either; and that indirect taxation equates to about 28% of Cayman’s GDP.
- As part of our commitment, the delegation noted that Cayman is participating in the OECD’s BEPS (base erosion and profit shifting) tax initiative, which the EU will consider as a factor in its listing process.
- They also emphasised Cayman’s role in adding value to the global economic and financial system.
In addition, EU officials updated the Premier, the Minister, and other members of the Government delegation on the objectives and outcomes of the EU process. The officials emphasised that as part of the process, jurisdictions will have the opportunity for further engagement with the EU, prior to the list’s publication.
‘During every meeting, EU officials praised our engagement and active pursuit of dialogue’, Minister Rivers said. ‘They also lauded our efforts as a frontrunner for implementing and shaping international transparency standards’.
Accompanying the Premier and Minister to Brussels were the Chief Officer for the Ministry of Financial Services and Home Affairs, Dr Dax Basdeo; Director of the Department of Financial Services Policy and Legislation, Michelle Bahadur; and Senior Political Advisor to the Premier, Roy Tatum.
Among those whom the Premier and Minister met were:
- European Commission Vice-President Mr Valdis Dombrovskis, who is in charge of Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union;
- Member of EU Commissioner Pierre Moscovici’s Cabinet, Mr David Boublil (Mr Moscovici is in charge of Economic and Financial Affairs, Taxation and Customs);
- European Commission’s Head of Unit, Directorate-General for Taxation and Customs Union, Mr Bert Zuijdendorp; and
- Ireland’s Permanent Representative to the EU, Ambassador Declan Kelleher.
Over the two-day outreach, the delegation also met with the Permanent Representations to the EU from Germany, France, Luxembourg, Malta and the UK.
News source: Press release