The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) issued a press statement yesterday confirming that the Cayman Islands had signed bilateral agreements on the exchange of information for tax purposes with seven Nordic economies. It said these bring to eight the number of such agreements entered into by the Cayman Islands, as it already has a tax information exchange agreement with the United States.
The Director of the OECD’s Centre for Tax Policy and Administration, Jeffrey Owens, welcomed these developments, saying *“The Cayman Islands was one of the first jurisdictions to commit to the new standard in May 2000. I welcome the fact that this commitment is now being implemented by the latest TIEAs.”*
Declaring the Stockholm signing of the financial accord a success, Cayman’s Minister for financial services Alden McLaughlin said, *“Everything went very smoothly, like clockwork. With the signing of these seven tax information agreements, the Cayman Islands officially becomes one of the Nordic group’s newest partners.”* He continued, *“We look forward to building on that partnership through the anticipated signing of commercial agreements in June of this year.”*
In addition to the TIEAs, the Cayman Islands has enacted legislation that allows it to exchange information unilaterally with countries that it chooses to identify. Twelve OECD countries have now been identified that benefit from this new provision, and the Caymans say the Wednesday signing brought to 20 the number of international tax exchange agreements it has in place. Mr. Owens said, *”Their new legislation is innovative and could speed up the process of implementing the standard. I appreciate the fact the Cayman Islands has sought to simplify the means by which to broaden its information exchange relationships The Cayman Islands is setting a good example.”*
Cayman was one of 11 jurisdictions that contributed to the development of the Model Agreement on Exchange of Information in Tax Matters, on which the bilateral agreements with the Nordic economies are based. It has been an active participant in the Global Forum’s Sub-Group on Level Playing Field Issues.
OECD’s work in this area is focussed on the development and implementation of high standards of transparency and exchange of information designed to enable countries to fully and fairly enforce their tax laws. The OECD has welcomed a number of announcements in recent weeks supporting this work and providing specific timelines for implementation. Mr. Owens stated, *“I am very pleased to see the pace of implementation now being accelerated.”*