CIG Statement on the US GAO Report
Published 24th July 2008, 11:34am
George Town, Grand Cayman – 24 July 2008 – The following is a statement by the Cayman Islands Government following the release of a report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office by the U.S. Senate entitled, "Cayman Islands: Business and Tax Advantages Attract U.S. Persons and Enforcement Challenges Exist."
- “The Cayman Islands Government has had an opportunity to review a draft of the U.S. GAO report issued this morning under GAO protocols. We believe that the report generally presents an accurate description of the Cayman Islands’ legal and regulatory regime and also assists in clarifying the nature of activity that takes place in the Cayman Islands in its role as a global financial services centre, to the benefit of both U.S. and non-U.S. persons.
- In several respects, we believe the report recognises the stature and strength of the Cayman Islands’ financial services industry. As such, the Cayman Islands Government welcomes and appreciates the recognition of the institutional base and regulatory compliance of our financial services sector, as reported by the GAO team of investigators. We were particularly pleased to see the GAO’s reference to Cayman’s financial services sector as a business-friendly, stable and internationally-compliant jurisdiction and that these reasons are key drivers for U.S. and global business.
- In many respects, the GAO’s report has affirmed what the Cayman Islands Government has said repeatedly: that the stability, quality and integrity of our financial services sector provides a competitive advantage to global business in a dynamic marketplace.
- In addition, we believe the various statements within the report by U.S. officials from the law enforcement, regulatory and tax areas citing a high degree of transparency and assistance from Cayman Islands authorities is a validation of the quality of our international cooperation regime. These statements also support our position that tax compliance in relation to U.S. persons is an obligation of those persons and that tax enforcement challenges in cross-border situations apply whatever the jurisdiction involved and are not specific to the Cayman Islands.
- Another key finding in the report which again reiterates our position is that registered office services provided by Cayman Islands’ firms accord with the general nature of such services and, in fact, are subject to regulation not applicable to such services under the governing U.S. state laws.
- The Cayman Islands Government looks forward to continuing to assist various U.S. agencies in dealing with enforcement challenges referenced in the report, where we are in a position to do so. As the report recognises, however, the U.S. Congress and those who are responsible for drafting and enforcing U.S. tax laws and regulations necessarily must play the principal role in enhancing compliance with those laws and regulations by U.S. taxpayers.”
Excerpts from U.S. Government Accountability Report
Cayman Islands: Business and Tax Advantages Attract U.S. Persons and Enforcement Challenges Exist
For more information, please contact the Financial Services Secretariat at (345) 945-5819 or via email at email@example.com.