Cayman’s efforts to avoid blacklist fails

| 12/02/2020 | 177 Comments

(CNS): Despite passing a raft of laws in the Legislative Assembly to avoid being blacklisted by the European Union, it appears that the Cayman Islands will be added to the EU’s list of jurisdictions with lax standards for financial crime. The Financial Times has reported that while both Cayman and the British Virgin Islands were both on a ‘grey list’ and up for review this month, Cayman has become the first British Overseas Territory to be named and shamed.

A statement from the Ministry of Financial Services issued Wednesday afternoon noted that while the Government of the Cayman Islands was aware of the media reports, there has been no official announcement that Cayman is now on the EU list of non-cooperative jurisdictions for tax purposes.

“While reports suggest the recommendation to EU Ministers of Finance that has been made by EU Ambassadors, the EU Ministers of Finance will make the final decision at a meeting to be held on 18th February,” the ministry stated. “As such, we have yet to receive confirmation of an EU decision. We believe that we have introduced the appropriate legislative changes to enhance our regulatory framework, in line with the EU’s requests.

The ministry said that over the past two years, the CIG “has adopted a number of fundamental legislative changes to enhance tax transparency and cooperation with the EU, fully delivering on our commitment to strengthen our regulatory regime and addressing the concerns reflected in the EU Council conclusions of 12 March 2019”. 

The statement further noted that the CIG had “offered to make itself available for further dialogue or clarification with the Commission and the EU Ministers of Finance”.

However, it appears that Cayman will join the eight jurisdictions already on the blacklist: Fiji, Oman, Samoa, Trinidad and Tobago, Vanuatu and the three US territories of American Samoa, Guam, and the US Virgin Islands.

European diplomats told the FT that EU27 ambassadors decided Wednesday to place Cayman Islands on the list of overseas tax territories that do not effectively co-operate with the EU.

According to the FT, the law passed by the Cayman Islands to addressed concerns about companies who claim tax advantages but do not have a sufficient economic presence on the island was “deficient”. Cayman’s legislation on investment funds is also, apparently, not up to scratch for the EU.

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Category: Business, Financial Services, Laws, Politics

Comments (177)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Because of Brexit, Cayman and other BOTs are about to have it HARD from the EU, so I’m not surprised!
    Thanks a lot UK!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Our reps are obviously considered a joke to these bodies….”wow they really think they’ve convinced us”

  3. Anonymous says:

    Are you telling me that Alden, Tara and Team wasted time on Chantelle and Vicky trying to get married and get health care, etc when they should have been dealing with avoiding being blacklisted? OMG Is that Karma or what?

  4. Anonymous says:

    11:03 just hit the nail. And there you have it spelled out for you. The Gov wasted time fighting and discriminating on equality for gays, and ignored other important issues which led to us being blacklisted. Let that sink in people. IT IS CALLED KARMA!!!

  5. Anonymous says:

    According to FT, Cayman’s Cabinet was apparently informed it was on a pending “Grey list” and given a month warning to rectify outstanding tax requests covered by existing TIEAs. Upon non-receipt of the info sought, 27 EU ambassadors then voted to move Cayman to join the other 7 on the least cooperative “Black list”. Either this is fact, or not, but it reeks of yet another Cabinet-driven miscalculation affecting many livelihoods and impeding the international reputation of the central pillar of economy (75% of our GDP).

    • Anonymous says:

      This is squarely on Tara Rivers.

      This is why Tara ram-rodded through all the Financial Legislation earlier this month. She’d received the EU advance warning about compliance with the “end of 2019” deadline. The LA spent so much time in 2019 actively impinging against the rights of gay Caymanians instead, that the necessary Bills to avoid Blacklisting, missed the 2019 cutoff, and moved to January and February LA sessions.

      The Private Funds Bill, 2020
      Mutual Funds (Amendment) Bill, 2020
      Companies (Amendment) Bill, 2020
      Limited Liability Companies (Amendment) Bill, 2020
      Limited Liability Partnership (Amendment) Bill, 2020
      International Tax Co-operation (Economic Substance) (Amendment) Bill 2019

      Were all rushed to prevent breech with this EU cautionary mention in November 2019, page 5:

      “2.2. Existence of tax regimes that facilitate offshore structures which attract profits without real economic activity
      The following jurisdictions, which committed to addressing the concerns relating to economic substance in the area of collective investment funds, have engaged in a positive dialogue with the Group and have remained cooperative, were granted until end 2019 to adapt their legislation:
      Bahamas, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands and Cayman Islands.”

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