The European Union (EU) announced this morning it is adding Anguilla and Barbados to its blacklist of tax havens. The Cayman Islands and Oman were removed.
The renowned list was established in 2017 and now consists of 12 jurisdictions: American Samoa, Anguilla, Barbados, Fiji, Guam, Palau, Panama, Samoa, Seychelles, Trinidad and Tobago, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Vanuatu.
The Cayman Islands and Oman were considered by the EU finance ministers to have passed and implemented the necessary reforms.
The Cayman Islands have been at the forefront of tax transparency in the asset management industry and the EU’s decision is a recognition of the jurisdiction meeting the most stringent conditions. This is good news for the alternatives industry, given the importance of the Cayman Islands as a fund and services centre globally."
Blacklisted jurisdictions face higher scrutiny, loss of access to EU funds and damage to their reputations.
The EU hinted last week it was likely to add Barbados to its list of tax-evading regimes. The jurisdiction also risks being removed from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) list of jurisdictions partially compliant with the exchange of tax information standard.
The Cayman Islands' removal from the list was welcomed by Jack Inglis, CEO of AIMA, the global representative of the alternative investment industry: "The Cayman Islands have been at the forefront of tax transparency in the asset management industry and the EU's decision is a recognition of the jurisdiction meeting the most stringent conditions."
"This is good news for the alternatives industry, given the importance of the Cayman Islands as a fund and services centre globally."
Cayman Finance comments
Jude Scott, CEO of Cayman Finance, commented on Wednesday that the "EU now joins many other respected international entities like the OECD in identifying the Cayman Islands as a transparent jurisdiction without harmful tax regimes."
Scott said, "We greatly appreciate the Cayman Islands Government's cooperation and working relationship with the EU over many years that helped produce this outcome."
"Cayman Finance and the Cayman Islands financial services industry actively support the Cayman Islands Government's efforts to ensure our tax neutral regime remains progressive, continuing to meet the highest evolving global standards on transparency and tax information sharing."
"Our dedication to these standards differentiates us from other International Financial Centres and is a key reason institutional investors consistently prefer to access global investment opportunities through Cayman-domiciled collective investment vehicles (CIVs)."