The Ministry of Financial Services met with members of Cayman’s financial services industry associations to discuss several commitments made to the European Union Code of Conduct Group for Business Taxation (EU COCG) as part of their evaluation of jurisdictions for tax purposes.
As part of last year’s EU COCG screening process, the Cayman Islands was recognised by the EU as a cooperative jurisdiction for tax purposes. While Cayman was assessed as a transparent jurisdiction, the Cayman Islands was identified, along with other Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies, in the EU Council’s conclusions on 5 December 2017 as a jurisdiction which has committed to addressing concerns relating to economic substance.
At the meeting, held Saturday, 3 March 2018 in the Government Administration Building, the Premier, the Hon. Alden McLaughlin, and the Minister of Financial Services, the Hon. Tara Rivers, outlined several new developments that the EU COCG had recently communicated to the Ministry.
‘This meeting is part of the Government’s plan of engagement, which encompasses dialogue with international bodies and discussions with our local stakeholders, to achieve the best outcome for the jurisdiction’, Minister Rivers said. ‘Our communication with the EU on Cayman’s tax regime is ongoing, with our latest meeting with the EU Commission taking place on 6 March’.
Further details were also given of the commitments made by the Cayman Islands Government to address the EU’s concerns relating to economic substance by December 2018. These commitments were initially discussed with industry in November last year.
The assurances made by the Cayman Islands relate to concerns expressed by the EU COCG in relation to ring-fencing of exempted companies, accounting and regulatory reporting obligations and sufficient economic substance for relevant businesses.
The Ministry’s proposed timeline for meeting the commitments made to the EU was outlined, and further details provided on the concerns to be addressed.