One vision – the offshore world is ready for the new world of tax transparency
The winds of change were gathering force around global information exchange, transparency and international tax planning well before the G8 summit in Northern Ireland in June. Yet a collection of varying dynamics – political, economic and social, and not least the advent of the US Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) – paved the way for the G8 leaders to bundle together several loose strands and finally assert clear plans about how global information exchange and international tax standards were to operate in coming years. They did this with more authority and clarity than ever before. And while the recent G20 summit in St Petersburg was dominated by Syria, the summit effectively reiterated many of the G8's points and added yet more gloss to the plans to refine international tax rules and international tax planning standards. This period of stronger, more unified political direction on these key issues comes as the usual checks and balances that often deter government leaders from going quite as far – namely free market economics and capitalism – have been largely missing from the debate. Indeed, the continuing fallout from the financial crisis, failed austerity plans and increased social unrest over tax planning provided the perfect backdrop for the measures to be laid down and built upon by political powers.
The G8 and G20 are ushering in a ‘new world’ of tax transparency, with an unprecedented sense of coherence and purpose. Ogier’s Ray Weamouth says the offshore world is fully braced for the change
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