FATCA and CRS Compliance
Commitment to Tax Transparency and Compliance
The Cook Islands has joined the OECD’s Inclusive Framework on Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (known as BEPS) and passed laws to remove tax regimes deemed preferential and harmful by the European Union thereby being deemed a co-operative jurisdiction for tax purposes.
The ongoing political movement to establish global transparency on financial matters would suggest that the confidentiality and privacy of one’s financial affairs can no longer be taken as a certainty.
However, whilst governments should not be denied their rightful tax take and those profiting from crime should not be encouraged, there needs to be some comfort for those going about their lawful business that their personal information will not be available to those with no lawful need for it. The balance struck by the Cook Islands in this regard is to meet its international obligations but, through its laws, retain an individual’s right to legitimate confidentiality.
Stance on Beneficial Ownership
The Cook Islands approach to meeting its international obligations whilst recognizing and providing legitimate confidentiality for those doing business in and with the Cook Islands, should give governments, institutions, businesses and individuals globally great comfort when dealing with the jurisdiction and its financial services industry.
This approach gives the small island state increased credibility when dealing with international trade partners and financial institutions who should find it hard to justify the risk of money laundering, or other financial crimes, as the reason for not transacting with Cook Islands businesses.
For more information on the Compliance in the Cook Islands Financial Services Industry contact our team at Cook Islands Finance.