The cost of compliance – offshore tax structures are in the spotlight post-G8
Top of David Cameron's stated agenda for the G8 summit on 17-18 June was a move towards tax openness and transparency – part of a political campaign that came into the media spotlight last year when it was discovered that large multinationals such as Google and Starbucks had avoided paying large sums of tax in the UK. But lawyers in offshore jurisdictions are divided as to whether the UK's calls for automatic tax information exchange, hot on the heels of the US Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), will have a positive or negative impact either on or offshore. What is clear is that this move towards global tax information exchange is well underway, with more governments signing up all the time – with the exception of China, which has sufficient economic clout not to feel pressured to fall in line with what the US or any other jurisdiction might demand.
With the UK recently announcing an arrangement with the crown dependencies, there are fears that the move to automatic tax information-sharing agreements will have unhappy consequences
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