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
CJEU: Defines Key Definitions for Tax & Beneficial Ownership Purposes
Last month, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) issued a series of important judgments dealing with tax avoidance and beneficial ownership in the context of the EU Parent-Subsidiary Directive (PSD) and the Interest and Royalties Directive (IRD).