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UK unites with EU nations to improve tax information exchange

The UK has recently announced a new alliance with EU member nations such as Spain, Italy, Germany and France to help promote better tax information exchange.

The new system will unite the five largest economies in the UK by providing for automatic sharing of several types of financial details, all in an attempt to help stamp out tax evasion and tax avoidance. The seeds of this new programme were planted last year in multilateral talks between these same countries and the US, and the news follows on the announcement that the US and the UK will have a similar deal struck between them in order to weed out anyone trying to pull the wool over on the eyes of either Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs or the US Internal Revenue Service.

These new arrangements are just one arrow in HMRC’s quiver in its attempt to bring an end to tax avoidance through the use of offshore accounts. The taxman has been busy, considering that HMRC already has agreements in place with Guernsey Jersey, and the Isle of Man to share taxation information, especially since all of these location have been traditionally used by less-than-honest firms to funnel profits offshore in tax avoidance schemes.

As if this doesn’t strike fear into the hearts of those who enjoy engaging in tax avoidance, rumors abound that soon the British Virgin Islands and the Cayman Islands may soon be losing their reputation a tax havens, especially since HMRC may be currently negotiating with these overseas territories to share tax information with the taxman here at home. This is all being done in the name of establishing new international standards when it comes to tax information exchange, one HMRC spokesman said, and if all these agreements move forward it could be a brave new world for tracking down those who previously thought they could get away with murder.

Personally I think it’s a brilliant idea and I hope that it ends up catching every single one of these overpaid executives that make use of tax shelters in these foreign countries. I can only hope that this increases the amount of money in the Treasury’s coffers as well, and that it gets put towards good causes!

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