Wednesday 26 September, 2018

Cayman attempts to shake its tax haven label in US meetings

A team from the Ministry of Financial Services has suggested that the United States has begun to view the Cayman Islands as a “tax-neutral, well-regulated financial services centre”.

A two-person team from the ministry recently wrapped up discussions in Washington D.C. with several US senators and other officials on tax reform and financial services reform, among other issues.

“Our message appears to be resonating that Cayman is a tax-neutral, well-regulated financial services centre with world-class professional services firms,” said André Ebanks, Senior Legislative Policy Advisor in the ministry.

“This is important for us, because a strong reputation drives business,” he added.

The Cayman ministry officials met with both Senate and House of Representatives advisors and staff.

According to the ministry’s Policy Officer Wilbur Welcome, the visit to the U.S was well timed noting that one day after the meetings, congressional leaders released their tax reform framework.

“We heard in many meetings how important it is for Cayman to continue educating leaders on our strong record of cooperation during this dynamic political period, “Welcome said.

“Reform – including addressing issues such as beneficial ownership – appears to be a growing interest in the US,” added Ebanks.

According to the team, state department officials expressed appreciation at the visit, which presented an opportunity to learn more about Cayman’s collection and maintenance of beneficial ownership information.

It was also revealed that these officials were interested in Cayman’s briefing on the OECD Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes report, which rated Cayman on par with countries such as Canada and Germany in terms of international tax cooperation.

Minister of Financial Services, Tara Rivers, was unable to travel to DC as she and the Premier, Alden McLaughlin, were attending financial services-related meetings in Brussels.