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Govt: Bermuda to help UK target tax evaders, fraud

Bermuda will provide United Kingdom authorities with information to help authorities there fight tax evasion and fraud, Bermuda’s Cabinet Office announced yesterday.

The battle is a ‘global priority’, according to the Premier’s office. In support of this cause, it stated Bermuda has entered into “automatic exchange of information agreements” with the United Kingdom.

The announcement has been made on the heels of the arrival of the British Government Minister in charge of overseas territories, Mark Simmonds.

“Tackling tax evasion and fraud is a global priority which is necessary to protect the integrity of public revenues, the confidence of taxpayers in the fairness and effectiveness of their tax systems and ultimately public confidence in open global capital markets,” it stated.

Further action is needed to prevent tax evasion and to clamp down on it, despite the development of international standards and a peer review process, the Cabinet Office explained.

“With this in mind, the next critical steps, aided by developments in technology, is to move to automatic exchange of tax information.

“The action taken by the United States under its Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) provides a unique opportunity to develop a new global standard in the near future and from that, to develop a system of multilateral automatic information exchange.”

The Cabinet Office said Bermuda “embraces” the move, and has “committed to entering into automatic exchange of information agreements with the United Kingdom to the same timetable as the agreements which we are currently finalising with the United States.”

Additionally, Bermuda has committed to move forward towards “eliminating any remaining hiding places” stating the island will improve the availability of information on beneficial ownership.

“The work of the Global Forum and the Financial Action Task Force has led to significant improvements but gaps still remain in many jurisdictions,” the statement said.

“Bermuda is determined to move forward with this agenda and will commit to review the effectiveness of our legal and enforcement framework and to produce an action plan, aimed at ensuring that we lead jurisdictions in respect of information and enforcement of rules on beneficial ownership.

“We look forward to working in close cooperation with the United Kingdom on these commitments and urge rapid development of new global standards in these areas.”

Premier Craig Cannonier

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Published April 26, 2013 at 9:00 am (Updated April 25, 2013 at 8:09 pm)

Govt: Bermuda to help UK target tax evaders, fraud

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