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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.
Six months after the Panama Papers revelations, Panama signed the Multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters last week, making it the 105th jurisdiction to join the predominant instrument for transparency and combating cross-border tax evasion.
In the debate about offshore centers, one nation has quickly become the center of attention.
Addressing world leaders at the Anti-Corruption Summit in London on Thursday, Premier Alden McLaughlin defended Cayman’s anti-money laundering and tax avoidance regimes and called for a seat at the table in developing a new global standard on sharing information about who owns companies and trusts.
The Confidential Relationships (Preservation) Law – which Cayman’s attorney general once referred to as “the bane of our existence since the 1970s” – will be replaced by rewritten legislation as early as this summer.
Cayman Finance said it supports the agreement concluded between the Cayman Islands government and the United Kingdom over improvements to the way beneficial ownership information is collected and exchanged with foreign tax authorities and law enforcement.
The U.K. government should consider imposing direct rule on its overseas territories and Crown dependencies if they fail to comply with U.K. tax laws, according to Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn.
Following the leak of internal documents of Panama law firm Mossack Fonseca which has reignited the debate about offshore financial centers, Cayman Finance said Tuesday that Cayman has a proven track record on transparency and cross-border cooperation.
Following the release of the “Panama Papers,” the Cayman Islands Ministry of Financial Services has issued a statement saying “the disclosure has further amplified the need for global cooperation,” but it would need to be in accordance with accepted international standards.
References to the Cayman Islands in the “Panama Papers” were conspicuous by their absence but pressure on all offshore financial centers is likely to increase after the anonymous leak of more than 11 million documents belonging to a Panamanian law firm continued its fallout on Monday.