New international tax evasion agreement will help HMRC clampdown

HM Revenue and Customs will gain greater ability to clamp down on tax evaders following the signing of an international agreement on tax evasion at the Global Forum in Berlin today. 

By Sarah.Aston

29 Oct 2014

The UK and 50 other countries and jurisdictions around the world have today signed an agreement to automatically exchange tax information as part of an international clampdown on tax evasion.

Under the new multilateral agreement, the Treasury will have access to details of billions of pounds of assets held overseas by UK taxpayers.

Information regarding bank balances, interest payments and beneficial ownership will be shared with the UK under the new agreement.

According to the Treasury this will increase HMRC's ability to clamp down on tax evasion in the UK.

Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, said ahead of the signing ceremony: “Today marks a negotiating triumph for Britain, and our close ally Germany, in the fight against tax evasion.”

The global standard of automatic information exchange was first developed by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and agreed in July 2014.

As well as most European Union countries signing the agreement, well known tax havens Liechtenstein, the British Virgin Islands and the Cayman Islands also signed the agreement today.

The United States did not sign the agreement.

Osborne said: “I never expected that within such a relatively short period we would succeed in getting 51 countries to sign up to this agreement.”

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