Tax transparency progresses with international expansion

29 April 2016

Over 20 countries have joined the UK-led pilot to automatically share ownership information for companies. As such their tax and law enforcement agencies will now exchange data on company beneficial ownership registers and new registers of trusts enabling more effective investigation of financial wrongdoing and tax-dodging.

Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne hailed the international expansion of a UK-led deal to automatically share information on the ultimate owners of companies as over 20 jurisdictions, including British crown dependencies, overseas territories and EU member states sign up.

Gibraltar, Isle of Man and Montserrat are amongst those joining the pilot initiated by the UK and launched with Germany, France, Italy and Spain at the G20 last week.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne said:

“Only a week after Britain launched this initiative with some of our closest European partners, it’s gaining the international support that will be vital to make it truly effective.

I welcome the early commitment made by Gibraltar, Isle of Man, Montserrat and Anguilla to participate and call on all of the remaining overseas territories and crown dependencies to do likewise.

It should be clear to all countries and tax jurisdictions that the world is moving firmly in the direction of greater tax transparency and the UK will continue to push for an internationally agreed blacklist for those that refuse to do the right thing.”

The pilot will begin to explore the best way for countries to share this information, with a view to developing a truly global common standard in a two-step process leading to the interlinking of national registries.

To date, since the launch 19 additional European countries have joined the pilot, the Netherlands, Romania, Sweden, Finland, Slovakia, Latvia, Croatia, Belgium, Ireland, Slovenia , Denmark, Malta, Lithuania, Cyprus, Bulgaria, Portugal, Estonia, Greece and Czech Republic.

Read the full press release here.