U. S. presidential hopeful Mitt Romney's offshore investments and whether they help him reduce his U. S. taxes will be analyzed at the upcoming OffshoreAlert Conference.
"How High Net Worth Individuals like Romney and big corporations like Bain Capital legally use offshore vehicles to maximize profitability and minimize risk will be among the main focuses of the conference," said OffshoreAlert publisher David Marchant.
"What tax loopholes, if any, are they taking advantage of, how are their offshore vehicles structured so that everything is legal, and are there any initiatives in the U. S. and other major countries to close them? These are some of the questions that will be asked and answered at our event."
Romney's investments in Cayman Islands-domiciled funds sparked a major controversy in the U. S. following a news story last week by ABC News that was headlined "Romney Parks Millions in Cayman Islands", with the jurisdiction being described as a "notorious Caribbean tax haven".
The story has been widely criticized in the Cayman Islands, many of whose offshore practitioners are fed up with what they perceive as wrongly being held out as a significant contributing factor to the USA's economic ills.
The ABC story "displays a total misunderstanding of the role of the Cayman Islands' tax neutral framework", said Richard Coles, Chairman of Cayman Finance. It is "unfortunate" that foreign journalists "continue to suggest that the laws of the Cayman Islands encourage avoidance of tax" despite there being "significant evidence to the contrary", he added.
"In fact, our tax neutral framework has played an important role in enabling ordinary Americans to efficiently invest via their pension funds and many US corporations have been able to maintain their international competitiveness through the use of Cayman Islands structures," said Coles.
The 10th Annual OffshoreAlert Conference will look at all things offshore, with many sessions for clients, providers and investigators of offshore products and services.
"Generally, there is a tremendous amount of ignorance surrounding offshore financial centers, what they offer and why they exist," said Marchant. "The aim of our conference is to educate the public by providing credible and accurate information on all aspects of conducting business offshore."