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Topic: tax haven
The Tax Justice Network has placed the British Virgin Islands, Bermuda and Cayman at the top of a list that the tax campaigners call “the 10 most corrosive tax havens in the world”.
The international press dedicated a huge amount of column inches this week to the decision by the U.K. parliament to force its overseas territories to make public the owners of companies registered in their jurisdiction, if necessary through an order in council.
U.S. Treasury Secretary-designate Steve Mnuchin on Thursday told senators that he had founded – and was a director of – a Cayman Islands hedge fund, but avoided answering if he would close the “tax haven.”
There they go again. Another group (this time Oxfam) produces another list of “world’s worst tax havens,” and they slap the Cayman Islands near the top — not because our jurisdiction lacks transparency, or offers anything less than full cooperation with enforcement agencies all over the world, but simply because Cayman itself has no direct taxation.
Cayman has committed in principle to a project reforming the application of tax rules in cross-border business to combat the erosion of tax bases and the artificial shifting of profits to low or no-tax jurisdictions.
Cayman Finance CEO Jude Scott has completed a two-week visit to Europe to promote the Cayman Islands financial services industry and its role in Europe, the United Kingdom and the global financial economy.
Trying to prevent criminals from using dollars for illegal purposes — particularly when what is defined as criminal activity varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction — imposes such huge costs on everyone else as to make the whole effort destructive to the safety, privacy and economic well-being of the citizens.
Cayman could find itself on a new EU list of “non-cooperative jurisdictions” in tax matters after the European Council of finance ministers published the criteria for including third countries in the blacklist last week. In September, the EU Commission named Cayman in a list of countries that should be examined more closely.
An independent human rights expert has urged the United Nations to convene a world conference on tax avoidance and tax evasion, the abolition of tax havens and the protection of whistleblowers. “I sincerely hope that the abolition of tax havens and the creation of a United Nations Tax Authority ... will be among Mr. Guterres’s priorities."
Eye-popping revelations in the Panama Papers have fanned concerns that the so-called “tax havens” lie at the center of a giant web of criminal conduct. The uproar invites examination of the role played by such centers in the world economy.
All the fuss over the recent BBC documentary should not be about its content but rather how we managed to get “spun” so easily by a journalist yet again.