Law firm welcomes listing

As the Cayman Islands got a tentative thumbs-up for improvements made to improve the transparency of its offshore industry, at least one law firm welcomed the remarks written on something of an international report card.

Maples and Calder, in a statement released this week, said that it was ‘pleased to see…the decision by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development to place the Cayman Islands on a list of jurisdictions that have committed to internationally agreed tax standards.’

The law firm said that the action recognised the significant cooperation by the Cayman Islands over the years with several governments and other organisations such as the OECD.

The Cayman Islands have entered 20 tax information exchange commitments, bilateral and unilateral, the largest number of any offshore financial centre, and have implemented the automatic information-sharing with all EU states under the EU Savings Directive.

Although the OECD is still reviewing the Cayman Islands legislation introducing the unilateral mechanism and, therefore, stopped short of including the unilateral arrangements in the number of commitments that the Cayman Islands have entered, several OECD member states have nonetheless already recognised the validity of the unilateral mechanism, Maples said.

The German government, the firm said, had announced that it is ‘in accordance with the standard laid down by the OECD.’

Last week, the OECD praised the Cayman Islands for ‘setting a good example’ in relation to tax information exchange agreements and noted that it was one of the first jurisdictions to commit to the OECD standards.

‘We therefore look forward to the Cayman Islands being moved to the list of jurisdictions that have substantially implemented internationally agreed tax standards,’ the Maples release said, ‘as soon as the OECD review is complete.’

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