Above: US Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney
By Alexander Britell
The government of the Cayman Islands has rejected claims about the territory by an ABC News report concerning the Cayman-based investments of US Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney.
The announcement follows a similar response by financial services organization Cayman Finance yesterday.
“Contrary to the ABC News Report, the Cayman Islands is not a secrecy jurisdiction that facilitates the avoidance or evasion of taxes by US or other persons,” the government said in a statement. “Although the Cayman Islands does not itself impose income taxes, it shares financial and other confidential information with the IRS and other US federal agencies through various agreements with the US government. That includes information requested for purposes of enforcing US income tax laws.”
The government said the registration of companies and arrangements to receive mail in the Cayman Islands was “essentially the same as arrangements for companies registered in Delaware and elsewhere in the US,” the government said.
It pointed to the fact that, despite what it called “unfounded allegations of secrecy made in its report,” ABC News was able to verify the existence of various investment funds through documents which are public available from the government.
Indeed, the Tax Information Exchange Agreement between the US and Cayman was one of the first such agreements signed by an offshore jurisdiction.
In a report by the US Government Accountability Office, a senior official in the US Department of Justice said the Cayman Islands was “one of DOJ’s best partners among offshore jurisdictions.”