Cayman tax agreements increase

The number of Cayman’s tax
information exchange agreements increased Tuesday when Premier McKeeva Bush
signed the 15th bilateral tax agreement in Washington, DC.

Tax agreements, such as the one
concluded with Australia, are part of the OECD’s effort to increase tax
transparency and fight tax evasion.

The OECD has set a minimum of 12
TIEAs to determine whether a country has substantially implemented the organisation’s
tax standards for international cooperation.

The agreement with Australia is the
first Cayman has signed in 2010, but an additional 15 agreements have been
lined up.

Six of those agreements, with
Aruba, Canada, Germany, Italy, Mexico and South Africa, have been finalised by
the Cayman Islands and are with the signatory countries for authorisation and
confirmation of the signing date.

Negotiations with another nine OECD
or G20 countries are ongoing and at various stages of the process.

In addition to encouraging the
conclusion of TIEAs, the OECD has introduced a peer review programme to assess
the effectiveness of the tax information exchange.

The Cayman Islands is a member of
the OECD’s Steering Group and as such was “able to provide input, guidance and
direction on the methodology and terms of reference for the peer review programme”,
the Ministry of Finance said in a statement. 

Mr. Bush commented on the
initiative: “The results of our negotiation programme along with the negotiating
team’s deep involvement in helping shape international standards in tax
transparency through active participation in key initiatives is commendable and
has been recognised by the OECD and the global community.” 

While the Cayman Islands will be
one of the assessor countries of the programme, it was also named as one of the
first to undergo a peer review.

This will involve the provision of
comprehensive information on the implementation of Cayman’s tax transparency
regimes to OECD assessors, including relevant laws, regulations and guidance