New Zealand tax deal due

Leader of Government Business McKeeva Bush said he would sign a tax information exchange agreement with New Zealand next month.

The government hopes that by signing 12 such agreements, Cayman will be removed from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development’s grey list, on which it was placed in April.

‘The government continues to be committed to expediting completion of these agreements which should remove the Cayman Islands from the OECD’s [grey] list,’ Mr. Bush said.

The OECD, a Paris-based think-tank of 30 of the world’s most developed countries, stipulated in April this year that jurisdictions that did not meet certain standards of transparency needed to sign at least a dozen bilateral tax agreements before they could be removed from the grey list.

At a press briefing on 23 July, Mr. Bush said he would sign the agreement with New Zealand in Washington DC on 13 August.

Cayman is also in talks with Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico and Portugal on more tax agreements.

Whether the signing of the 12 agreements will be enough to get Cayman off the grey list will be apparent next month.

Doubt was cast on whether this would be sufficient to elevate the islands to the white list when OECD Secretary General Angel Gurria said last month that signing of the agreements was ‘not just a numbers game’ and may not be enough to qualify removal from the grey list.

Mr. Gurria said jurisdictions may need to undergo a peer review before being transferred onto the white list.

Cayman already has in place tax information exchange agreements with the United States, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Ireland, Denmark, Faroe Islands, Finland, Greenland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden.

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