Tuesday, May 07, 2013

BVI and Other Financial Centres Sign Up for UK Strategy to Enhance Tax Transparency

UK Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne welcomed the news that British Overseas Territories with significant financial industry sector, among them the Cayman Islands, the British Virgin Islands, Anguilla, Bermuda, Montserrat and the Turks and Caicos Islands, signed up for the UK government’s strategy on global tax transparency. This strategy will allow these financial centres to automatically share information bilaterally with the UK, and multilaterally with the G5 countries - the UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain. 

Under the agreement, much greater levels of information about bank accounts, including those held by trusts, will be exchanged, marking a turning point in the fight against tax evasion and illicit finance. The parties involved in the agreement will know the names, addresses, dates of birth, account numbers, account balances and details of payments made into those accounts. This will increase the level of international transparency and will make it much harder for people to escape paying taxes.

This year, Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron identified tax transparency as a key priority for the summit of the G8. The jurisdictions, including BVI, have also committed to take action to ensure they are at the forefront of transparency on BVI company ownership. Osborne has invited other countries to join the initiative.

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