CI Enhances International Cooperation
Published 31st May 2011, 2:43pm
George Town, Grand Cayman – The Cayman Islands delegation reported significant progress in implementing the recommendations contained in their Phase 1 Peer Review Report at the 3rd meeting of the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes, taking place this week (31 May – 1 June 2011).
The meeting is hosted by Bermuda and is being attended by over 220 delegates from 85 member jurisdictions and 11 international organisations. Earlier today (31 May), the Cayman Islands Premier and Minister of Finance, the Hon. McKeeva Bush, OBE, JP, highlighted steps taken by Cayman authorities to address the recommendations set out in the Phase 1 Peer Review Report.
These include legislative amendments to the companies, partnerships and trusts laws to require the retention of relevant accounting records (including underlying documentation) for a minimum period of five years, including enhanced sanctions for non-compliance in line with the international standards. As such, in accordance with the Revised Methodology for Peer Reviews and Non-member Reviews, the Cayman Islands has requested a supplementary report seeking an upgrade of the determination in the Phase 1 Peer Review Report of the essential element relating to accounting records. It is expected that this supplementary report will be examined by the Peer Review Group at the earliest opportunity.
Premier Bush also reported that the Cayman Islands is currently reviewing the remaining recommendations contained in the Phase 1 Report with a view to determining the best manner in which to address these in advance of its Phase 2 Peer Review, which will focus on the practical implementation of the international standard and the effectiveness of exchange of information.
Another important milestone achieved at this Global Forum was the initialing of a Tax Information Exchange Agreement (TIEA) between the Cayman Islands and the People’s Republic of China. “The Cayman Islands currently has 23 TIEAs in place with relevant partners – the most recent with the Republic of South Africa having been signed in early May – and we will continue to enhance our tax transparency regime through increased cooperation efforts such as this one,” said Honourable Samuel Bulgin, Attorney General and member of the Cayman Islands International Tax Cooperation Team.
Speaking to the commitment of the Cayman Islands, Premier Bush added, “My government is committed to doing our part in advancing the international standards of the Global Forum – evidenced by our participation over the past 11 years. Furthermore, the Cayman Islands will be hosting the next Global Forum Peer Review Group Meeting in July, and are pleased to welcome over 40 jurisdictions to our shores.”
The Cayman Islands has been an active participant in tax transparency initiatives since 2000, playing an integral role in the restructured Global Forum, Steering Group and the Peer Review Group, and to date has provided assessors for five peer review evaluations. The Cayman Islands had a favourable assessment during Phase 1 of the Peer Review Process and is expected to undergo its Phase 2 in the second half of 2012.
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