Tax Havens to Share Data with HMRC
A number of British overseas territories have signed a deal with HM Revenue & Customs to share tax information
HMRC have today signed a deal with a number of "tax havens" to disclose the bank details of British taxpayers with offshore accounts in thsoe countries.
Earlier this year the Crown Dependencies of The Isle of Man, and the Channel Islands of Guernsey and Jersey have signed up to share information with the tax man.
Now the Caribbean islands of Anguilla, Bermuda, the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, Montserrat and the Turks & Caicos Islands have agreed to be more trnasparent with HMRC.
The move, announced by George Osborne this morning ahead of the UK’s G8 presidency, is part of an initiative to move tax transparency to the top of the financial agenda.
As well as sharing information with the UK the other G5 nations of France, Germany, Italy and Spain will also have access to offshore tax data, moving finance toward a more international standard.
The agreememt with HMRC is the latest in a number of high profile stories that highlight the level of tax evasion in the UK.
Speaking about the latest signatories, the Chancellor of the Excheqer said:
“This represents a significant step forward in tackling illicit finance and sets the global standard in the fight against tax evasion.”
“I now hope others follow these governments’ lead and enter into similar commitments to this new level of transparency, removing the hiding places for those who seek to evade tax and hide their assets.”
Big businesses such as Amazon, Google and Starbucks have all been mentioned in the media recently for paying as little tax as possible in the UK with search giant Google only yesterday being told that it was being called before a group of MPs to explain its tax position.
The multilateral tax information exchange follows a similar set of agreements set up in the USA and will become permanent if the pilot scheme proves successful.