Cayman on OECD 'white list' Reuters 14 August 2009.
The Cayman Islands has joined the global "white list" of countries using internationally recognized tax standards, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development said on Friday. The G20 group of leading industrialized and emerging market nations agreed in April to crack down on countries that failed to help out in cross?border tax evasion cases. At the time, the OECD published a "grey list" of more than 30 countries that had agreed to improve transparency standards but had not signed the necessary international accords. To get off the list, governments had to sign at least 12 bilateral tax agreements in line with OECD standards. The OECD said the British Virgin Islands and the Cayman Islands had both signed pacts with New Zealand to give them the needed quorum. "Today the British Virgin Islands and the Cayman Islands take their place alongside other countries that have substantially implemented the internationally agreed tax standard," said Jeffrey Owens, head of the OECD's Center for Tax Policy and Administration. "Six jurisdictions have moved into this category since April," he added in a statement. Leader of Government Business/Premier Designate, Hon.
McKeeva Bush said: “For over four decades the Cayman Islands has steadily earned its place as a world?class international financial services centre. The Cayman Islands Government sees the OECD’s recognition as a natural outcome of the country’s substantial commitment to uphold an equally world?class international cooperation regime in the exchange of tax information.” Mr Bush added: “The Cayman Islands Government is looking forward to working in partnership with competent authorities in implementing agreements it has signed, concluding additional agreements with Cayman’s important trading partners in financial services and continuing its active role in the OECD Global Forum, to which it committed to in 2000.” Mr Bush concluded that this move to advance the country's various global commitments in the area of international cooperation and regulation is part of the recently?elected United Democratic Party's manifesto pledge to enhance and protect the industry. Anthony Travers, chairman of the Cayman Islands Finanical Services Association (CIFSA), said, "We are pleased to see that Cayman’s position on tax transparency has now been recognized by the OECD. It is clear that the results achieved by the Cayman Islands government in completing the TIEAs and the ongoing initiative remove any basis on which legitimate criticism can now be leveled at the Cayman Islands on the subject of tax transparency. That should also exclude any further inappropriate reference to and mischaracterization of the Cayman Islands as a 'tax haven'." Jeremy Hurst owner/broker of the Cayman Real Estate Company IRG, commented that "this is excellent news for Cayman property owners, as uncertainty surrounding this issue was having a negative effect on Cayman property transactions."