Tax information exchange explained at seminar

The tax information exchange with
the US is established and functioning well, a senior litigation lawyer in
Cayman has said.

At a financial seminar held at the
Westin Casuarina Hector Robinson, a partner at Mourant de Feu & Jeune in
Cayman, set out the legal framework within which Tax Information Exchange
Agreements have been established and advised delegates on what to do if served
with a request from the regulatory body.

Mr. Robinson pointed out that the
Cayman authorities had now signed 15 TIEAs, including an agreement with the US
which had been negotiated in 2001 and brought into law in 2005 through the Tax
Information Authority Law.

Cayman has received regular
requests for information from the US since that time, all of which have been
satisfied without any legal challenge to any individual request, he said.

Mr. Robinson’s presentation ‘Cayman
Prepared: Adapting to the Demands of New Financial Regulations in the US and Cayman’

set out the type of information
that may be exchanged, the protection given to the individuals concerned by the
information exchange and the procedures that must be followed when a request
for information is made.

Mr. Robinson stressed that TIEA
requests cannot be employed as a ‘fishing expedition’. Without the consent of
the Cayman Authority the requesting country cannot use the data for any
investigation or proceedings other than those stated in the request. The
information provided also has to be kept confidential both by the Authority and
the requesting country, he said.

However, he noted that Cayman’s
confidentiality law does not apply to TIEA requests.

Hector Robinson, who has nearly 20 years’ experience
as a litigator, shared a platform with a team of specialist lawyers from Paul,
Hastings, Janofsky & Walker, visiting Cayman from their offices in New
York, Palo Alto and San Francisco, and by Mourant litigation colleague,
Nicholas Dixey, who summarised the rules governing civil recovery under the
Proceeds of Crime Law for delegates.