The Cayman Islands are located in the Western Caribbean, south of Florida and Cuba and west of Jamaica. This British Overseas Territory is comprised of three islands; Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac and Little Cayman and have a combined population of approximately 60,000.
The official language of the Cayman Islands is English with the legal system based on the British system. Due to its strong links with the UK the Cayman Islands is considered very politically stable, protected and safe. The Cayman Islands has one of the highest standards of living in the Caribbean with a GNP per capita of around US$49,000. The infrastructure on the Caymans is excellent with good communication facilities and a well established transport system.
The Cayman Islands are a major financial centre and have the fifth largest banking sector in the world with a high concentration of top quality service providers. The Cayman Islands boasts 279 banks and leading global financial institutions, accountancy practices (the big 4 all have a presence in the Caymans) and leading offshore law firms. The Cayman Islands have more registered businesses than they do people!
The regulation of the financial services industry is undertaken by the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority (CIMA) which has a stricter regime than many other offshore jurisdictions. Although perceived as a ‘tax haven’ the Cayman Islands have made a number of steps in recent years to become more legitimate and have achieved greater respect because of improved compliancy. The driving force behind this greater legitimacy was the implementation of the ‘Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty’ in 1986. The purpose of this treaty is to assist law enforcement agencies of other countries when they believe a Cayman Islands Company has been involved in any criminal activities however privacy is still held in the highest regard.
The Cayman Islands offer a tax efficient, respected jurisdiction for the incorporation of an offshore company. The following pages offer information on the benefits of incorporation in the Caymans, the procedure of incorporation and the tax and accountancy regulations imposed by this jurisdiction.
The formation of a Cayman Islands Company is a tax efficient solution for international entrepreneurs. Some of the many key benefits are listed below:
- All documents and legislation are in the official language of English
- There are no annual reporting, accounting or auditing requirements for an Offshore Cayman Islands Company
- Only one shareholder and one director is required. These can be the same person or a corporate body and do not need to include a local
- There is a complete lack of direct taxation; no corporation, property, capital gains or withholding taxes. This legislation is backed by a 20 year government guarantee (rising to 30 years on application) enabling long term business planning
- There is no minimum capital requirement for a Cayman Island Company formation
- The business does not need to be run from the Cayman Islands. It can be run from anywhere in the world
- Corporate bank accounts
Gibraltar companies now have to disclose full Beneficial Ownership details to Central Register
Gibraltar is working to implement all EU legislation relating to the 4th Anti Money Laundering Directive into national law, in addition to the current EU legislation on financial supervision and direct taxation, and to this affect, the Government of Gibraltar have established a Central Register of Beneficial Ownership that will be effective from June 26th 2017.
European Commission publishes tax avoidance disclosure directive
The EC (European Commission) has published its draft legislation compelling financial service providers or intermediaries to disclose any international tax planning schemes they have encouraged, enabled or assisted in any way.
OECD publishes compliance review for all non-compliant jurisdictions
The OECDs global tax transparency initiative was launched last year in April 2016, with the purpose of encouraging every jurisdiction across the world to commit to implementation of a CRS (Common Reporting Standard) for automatic exchange of information by 2018, and to sign the Multilateral Convention on the exchanging of tax data. A forum on behalf of the OECD has released the results of its review for jurisdictions it considers to be non-compliant.
EU Parliament Committee release findings & recommendations for current offshore taxation measures
A formal enquiry into the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca has been launched by the European Parliament's Committee, which found gaps in beneficial ownership transparency for trusts and fiduciaries and didn’t meet the EU standard.
2017 G20 summit: Enforcement of taxation highest priority
The 2017 G20 leaders’ summit took place in Hamburg last week where the European Commission Council and leaders discussed the priorities and primary projects for the upcoming summit. EC President Jean-Claude Juncker has stated that advancing the global combat against tax evasion is top of the list.
The EC takes action against advocates promoting tax avoidance schemes
The European Commission has recommended the implementation of a new regulation regarding companies or intermediaries who promote or design cross-border tax planning schemes will going forward be required to provide full disclosure to the tax authorities of their relevant jurisdiction within five days of offering them to clients.
What are the new Beneficial Ownership reporting requirements for BVI companies?
Going forward, a new regulation will require certain British Virgin Islands companies to gather and retain details of Beneficial Owners with 25% or more of the company’s shareholding rights, with an ongoing requirement to keep the details up to date.
Russian citizens can gain Cyprus tax residency by staying only 60 days on island, whats the catch?
Cyprus is once again working to improve its economic desirability and will be able to increase its alternative business base for Russians with good creditworthiness.