Brisk progress on International Tax

Cooperation Programme

The Cayman Islands currently has 20 Tax Information Exchange Agreements… and counting.

With five tax information exchange agreements (TIEA) signed between April and June 2010 – and concluded negotiations on one more – the Cayman Islands is clearly reinforcing its status as a ‘white listed’ country by the Organisation for Economic Development and Cooperation (OECD) for substantially implementing international tax standards.

To put Cayman’s TIEA negotiating programme into global context, the Cayman Islands has signed agreements with five of the G8 countries and is awaiting signature on two agreements (Italy and Japan). With the OECD, the Cayman Islands has agreements with 16 of the 30 OECD member states, is awaiting signature on three agreements (Italy, Japan, South Korea) and is in negotiations with three additional OECD member states.

A look at the events over the past three months shows the diverse and global reach of Cayman’s negotiating activities:

Aruba on 20 April 2010 – An agreement was signed with Aruba following on the other two agreements signed with countries of The Kingdom of the Netherlands – the Netherlands Antilles, which was signed on 29 October 2010 and the Netherlands on 8 July 2010.

Portugal on 13 May 2010
– The first TIEA signed on Cayman soil was signed when Portuguese Secretary of State for Tax Affairs Professor Sérgio Vasques visited the Cayman Islands to mark an agreement with the Premier McKeeva Bush. Several senior government officials and representatives from Portuguese institutions were operating in the Cayman Islands to witness the event.

Japan on 26 May 2010 – The Cayman Islands and the government of Japan successfully concluded negotiations on a tax information exchange agreement following a meeting between the respective delegations held earlier in May 2010 in London. The second TIEA with an Asia-Pacific country following the signing with Australia in March 2010, the agreement is now going through the political authorisation process on both sides to enable execution at signing on a date to be determined.

Germany on 27 May 2010
– German Ambassador to Jamaica Jürgen Engel visited the Cayman Islands to sign an agreement on behalf of the Federal Republic of Germany. The Premier said the following to attendees at the signing ceremony:

“The Cayman Islands’ long-standing commercial ties with Germany and the opportunity to host a distinguished member of its foreign service, Ambassador Engel, make this signing an important one. Not only have Germany’s leading financial institutions held operations in the Cayman Islands for decades, but our two governments have worked closely together for many years, most recently as part of our mutual participation in the OECD Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes’ Steering and Peer Review Groups. We look forward to many more years of successful work with our German counterparts.”

Canada on 24 June 2010 – The Cayman Islands played host once again to representatives from a major player in the global economy when the Canadian High Commissioner to Jamaica Stephen Hallihan arrived on Island to sign an agreement on behalf of Canada. Immediately following the signing, the Premier outlined future opportunities for mutual growth and development between the Cayman Islands and Canada associated with the agreement, specifically mentioning that the TIEA will result in favourable tax treatment for active business income earned by Cayman subsidiaries of Canadian companies.

“Many Canadian firms rely on the Cayman Islands’ stable, globally-connected, tax-neutral platform to help reach their business goals,” said the Premier. “We look forward to more successful Cayman-Canada business for years to come.”

In many instances, the various signings have provided opportunities to reinforce the Cayman Islands’ relationships with much larger countries of economic significance. The Cayman Islands government anticipates signing several more agreements throughout the back half of 2010 and into 2011.

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More information on all programmes outlined above can be found on
www.caymanfinance.gov.ky  and
www.discovercaymanfinance.com

For more information or to discuss partnership opportunities please contact:

Financial Services Secretariat
Ministry of Finance

T. +1 (345) 244 2266
E. financepr.@gov.ky

The Cayman Islands competent authority for tax cooperation arrangements is the Tax Information Authority, established in 2005 under the Tax Information Authority Law (2009 Revision).

More information on the Authority can be found on www.tia.gov.ky
Copies of all agreements can be found via the following link: www.tia.gov.ky/html/arrangements.htm

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From left to right: German Ambassador to Jamaica Mr Jürgen Engel and the Premier of the Cayman Islands, the Honourable W. McKeeva Bush sign a tax information exchange agreement between the two countries while His Excellency the Governor, Mr Duncan Taylor, CBE looks on.
Bina Mani, Cayman Islands Government Information Services.