Britain signs agreement with off-shore havens to share tax information
Bermuda, the Turks and Caicos and other British overseas territories with extensive financial centres have signed agreements to share tax information in what the British government hailed Thursday as a major victory in the battle against tax evasion.
Anguilla, Bermuda, the British Virgin Islands, Montserrat and the Turks and Caicos Islands have agreed to “much greater levels of transparency of accounts held in those jurisdictions”, Britain’s Treasury said.
The move is part of an international drive to clamp down on tax havens and is designed to help British authorities find bank account holders who evade taxes by hiding their money overseas.
The agreement means the jurisdictions have agreed to pass on names, addresses, dates of birth, account numbers, account balances and details of payments into the accounts.
The jurisdictions will share the details with Britain but also with tax authorities in France, Germany, Italy and Spain.
Britain recently reached similar tax information-sharing agreements with Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man.
Cracking down on tax evasion is one of Britain’s priorities for its presidency of the G8 this year.
Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne said the move was “a significant step in tackling illicit finance and sets the global standard in the fight against tax evasion”.
He called on other countries to remove the “hiding places for those who seek to evade tax and hide their assets”.