George Osborne today unveiled a “groundbreaking” international deal to share information to make it harder to evade tax.
by Ben Wright, Washington
The Government has struck an agreement with Germany, France, Italy and Spain to share information that it believes will make it harder for companies to dodge tax.
The deal will allow tax and law enforcement agencies in these five European Union countries to exchange information about the ultimate owners of companies and trusts in real-time.
The initiative follows the revelations and fallout from the leaking of documents – collectively known as the Panama Papers – which showed how wealthy individuals and companies hide assets from public scrutiny.
As well as the new agreement, unveiled at the spring meeting of the International Monetary Fund in Washington, George Osborne, the Chancellor, has also written to his counterparts at G20 countries urging them to work towards a full global exchange of beneficial ownership information in order to remove “the veil of secrecy under which criminals operate”.