Cayman extends tax assistance

Seven more countries, in Europe, are to receive tax information assistance from Cayman – without recourse to bilateral treaties – under the Tax Information Authority Law introduced last year.

The countries which may request tax information under the unilateral mechanism are Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Germany, Luxembourg, the Slovak Republic and Switzerland.

Requests may be made in civil and administrative as well as criminal tax matters.

‘The Cayman Islands was one of the first jurisdictions to commit to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development standards for transparency and exchange of information in tax matters,’ said the Leader of Government Business, the Honourable Kurt Tibbetts.

‘We have upheld that commitment by working with OECD and non-OECD colleagues to design effective standards, by reflecting those standards in our domestic regime, and then embarking on a programme to extend assistance arrangements to other countries; the first being our tax information agreement with the US signed in 2001.’

‘Our actions, today, in extending tax information assistance to seven more countries is the culmination of many months of technical work, and we are especially grateful to Germany for the insight they were able to provide by virtue of having a unilateral mechanism for cooperation in tax matters themselves.’

The unilateral mecharuns parallel to Cayman’s bilateral negotiation programme.

Just this month Cayman agreed the terms of bilateral agreements with Nordic countries that include arrangements for tax information exchange.

Tax agreements with Denmark, the Faroe Islands, Finland, Greenland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden are to be signed next month.

Commercial agreements should follow in June.

Mr. Tibbetts said Cayman is close to concluding bilateral arrangements with the UK.

In addition to arrangements under the OECD initiative, the Cayman Islands has agreements in effect since 2005 with the 27 EU member states under which it reports savings income information pursuant to measures equivalent to the European Union Savings Directive.

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