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UK to share tax information with Jersey and Guernsey

As part of its on-going campaign to target offshore tax evasion, the UK Government last week entered into automatic tax information sharing agreements with both Jersey and Guernsey. It is the latest move by the Government to strengthen HMRC’s powers in dealing with tax evasion.

In general terms, the new agreements mean that financial information on UK taxpayers who hold accounts in Jersey and Guernsey will, from now on, be automatically forwarded to HMRC so that it can ensure that the appropriate tax is being paid.

At the beginning of the month a similar agreement was signed with the Isle of Man and this means that all of the UK’s Crown Dependencies have now entered into automatic tax information sharing agreements with the UK.

According to the Government, the move forms “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.”

Tax fraud is, generally, a serious problem for the Government. According to the most recent Fraudtrack report from accountants, BDO LLP, tax fraud accounted for 44% of all reported frauds in 2012, and cost the country around £603 million. VAT fraud alone accounted for 41% of the total UK fraud figure.

More action to tackle tax evasion is on the cards. Internationally, leaders at July’s G8 summit, chaired by the UK, agreed to co-ordinate action to fight tax evasion and avoidance, and further agreements are being discussed.

At the national level, HMRC was recently given an extra £77 million to spend on projects targeting tax evasion and avoidance, and is announcing new initiatives on a regular basis.

Contact Jonathan Fisher QC

For specialist advice on issues of corporate, regulatory or financial crime, contact Jonathan Fisher QC on +44 (0)20 7427 463 or click here to make an electronic enquiry.

International Guide to Money Laundering Law & Prac...
Jonathan Fisher QC listed in Chambers UK 2014
The views expressed in this article represent those of the author and not Bright Line Law.

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