The Cayman Islands are confirmed to Key Global Forum Position
In addition to receiving a high ranking for their legislative and regulatory framework, the Caribbean, Cayman Islands has also been confirmed as one of the vice chairs of the Peer Review Group, and the Cayman Islands have retained their position on the Steering Group, of the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes.
The Cayman Islands was among one of the first 8 Countries who would be assessed under the OECD Global Peer Review Evaluation Program which was launched in 2010. The evaluation program was split into 2 phases, the first phase was focused on the quality of the member jurisdiction’ legal and regulatory framework for the exchange of information which relate to tax purposes; the second phase evaluated the practical implementation of the member jurisdiction tax information exchange regime, i.e. whether the regime works in practice.
In September 2010, the OECD Global Forum recogised the Cayman Islands in their first phase as a “well-developed legal and regulatory framework” that promotes access to information by ensuring its legal authorities are “invested with broad powers to gather relevant information”.
Since 2010, the Cayman Islands has faced, and fared well against, two of the most significant international initiatives relating to cooperation and information exchange; the OECD Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes Peer Review Process (“Global Forum”)
At the last meeting, confirmation recogised Caymans’ dedication and value that the Cayman Islands has brought to the Global Forum over the past 3 years. The Minister for Financial Services, Mr. Wayne Panton said ‘While this will mean more responsibility, it demonstrates that our engagement, commitment and hard work are acknowledged’.
During the November 2013 meeting the Cayman Islands position was confirmed as part of the periodic rotation in the forum’s membership for Steering Group and Peer Review Group. The rotation will come into effect on the 1st of January 2014.
The Cayman Islands where rated ‘largely compliant’ following the review and rating progress. These ratings where based on the forums Phase one assessments of the member countries legal and regulatory framework, and phase two assessment of their practical implementation of the Global standard for tax information exchange.
Other countries in the largely compliant category include the Bahamas, Bermuda, Germany, Italy, Jersey, Singapore, the UK and the US.
In all, the Global Forum published the ratings of 50 jurisdictions at its 6th Plenary Meeting in Jakarta on 22 November 2013. The overall rating for 18 jurisdictions was compliant; 26, largely compliant; two, partially compliant; and four, non-compliant.
‘I am very pleased with Cayman’s rating, and with our participation in the Global Forum’, Minister Panton said. ‘The overall results of the Peer Review ratings demonstrate that the forum is ensuring proper adherence to the international standard on exchange of information for tax purposes, based an objective and robust peer review mechanism’.
The Global Forum’s membership comprises 121 countries. According to its release, work began on rating the members’ exchange of information framework once a representative sample of peer review reports had completed.