Following the announcement earlier this week that the Cayman Islands has offered to join the G5 group of countries’ automatic exchange of bank account information, it has been confirmed that Anguilla, Bermuda, the British Virgin Islands, Montserrat and the Turks and Caicos Islands will follow suit.
Osborne 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.”
The Territories have all agreed to pilot the automatic exchange of information bilaterally with the UK and multilaterally with the G5 – the UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain. Under the agreement, the Treasury said much greater levels of information will be exchanged as part of a move to a new global standard.
Information disclosed under the terms of the automatic exchange agreement includes names, addresses, dates of birth, account numbers, account balances and details of payments into those accounts. It will also include information on certain accounts held by entities, such as trusts.
‘Setting a new standard in transparency’
In a statement, the Treasury said the Isle of Man has also agreed to join the multilateral initiative and that Guernsey has “expressed a clear interest”.
The Isle of Man became the first non-US jurisdiction to agree to greater exchange of information with the UK after becoming the first of the Crown Dependencies to announce its intention to adopt an agreement in December last year.
The agreement reached between the UK and the Isle of Man, and subsequently with Jersey and Guernsey, is based on the model intergovernmental agreement unveiled in February 2012 for the implementation of the American Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) by the G5 countries.
The Treasury said it sees these agreements as “setting a new standard in international tax transparency”.
The chairman of FECIF – a pan-Europe intermediary trade body – recently raised “severe concerns” about plans to introduce multi-lateral tax information exchange agreements. Click here to read the article