The UK has today (Tuesday 22 October) signed automatic tax information sharing agreements with both Jersey and Guernsey as it continues to close in on those attempting to hide their money offshore.
These historic agreements represent a step change in HMRC’s ability to clamp down on tax evasion. They form an important building block of the new global standard to be agreed early next year which will remove the hiding places for those who seek to evade tax.
Financial information on UK taxpayers holding accounts in Jersey and Guernsey will now be automatically provided to HMRC to ensure that the correct amount of tax is being paid.
The announcement follows a similar agreement signed between the UK and Isle of Man on 10 October and means that all the Crown Dependencies have now entered into automatic tax information sharing with the UK. They have also agreed to be part of the G5 multi-lateral information sharing pilot.
The government will look to sign additional agreements with other jurisdictions as soon as possible and is currently in discussions with the overseas territories.
Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, said:
The UK has been leading the way in pressing for a new global standard of tax transparency and automatic tax information sharing. These agreements build on the progress already made and send a clear signal to anyone thinking they can evade their responsibilities: the opportunities to hide your money offshore are disappearing and the net is closing in.
We welcome these agreements with Guernsey and Jersey which demonstrate our shared commitment to tackling tax evasion. The agreements will enable HMRC to clamp down further on those individuals who seek to hide their assets offshore.
The UK put tax and transparency at the heart of the G8 agenda during its chairmanship in 2013. At the summit in July, leaders from the world’s largest eight economies agreed on coordinated action to combat tax evasion and avoidance. This work is being taken forward by the OECD.