The Cayman Islands could become the first British Overseas Territory to be added to the EU’s so-called blacklist of jurisdictions for failing to introduce adequate legislation to deal with tax deficiencies identified by Brussels, if media reports are accurate.
It was previously on a so-called ‘grey list’ which allowed jurisdictions time to make legislative changes to address concerns. Its status was up for review this month.
While the EU has made no official statement, numerous media outlets have reported that Cayman will be blacklisted. It appears that Cayman will join the eight jurisdictions already on the blacklist: Fiji, Oman, Samoa, Trinidad and Tobago, Vanuatu and the three US territories of American Samoa, Guam, and the US Virgin Islands.
The news comes despite the Cayman Government passing a raft of legislation to avoid such a scenario. The Ministry of Financial Services has acknowledged the reports and issued the following statement.
“The Government of the Cayman Islands is aware of media reports on the ongoing revision of the EU list of non-cooperative jurisdictions for tax purposes.
“While reports suggest the recommendation to EU Ministers of Finance that has been made by EU Ambassadors, the EU Ministers of Finance will make the final decision at a meeting to be held on 18th February. As such, we have yet to receive confirmation of an EU decision.
We believe that we have introduced the appropriate legislative changes to enhance our regulatory framework, in line with the EU’s requests.
“Over the past two years, the Cayman Islands Government has adopted a number of fundamental legislative changes to enhance tax transparency and cooperation with the EU, fully delivering on our commitment to strengthen our regulatory regime and addressing the concerns reflected in the EU Council conclusions of 12 March 2019. The Cayman Islands’ Government has offered to make itself available for further dialogue or clarification with the Commission and the EU Ministers of Finance.”
Cayman Government, EU Blacklist, Blacklisted, Tax, EU Ministers of Finance, Cayman Island