In 2013, a major focus of the UK’s G8 Presidency was tax transparency and combatting offshore tax evasion. As part of this the UK promoted the development of a new global standard for reciprocal automatic exchange of financial account information in order to effectively tackle the global problem of tax evasion. Due in large part to the UK’s leadership, over 90 countries and jurisdictions have now committed to the new global standard – known as the Common Reporting Standard (CRS) – and will begin automatically exchanging information under the standard by 2017 or 2018.
Together with the UK itself, all of the UK’s Crown Dependencies and Overseas Territories with a recognised financial centre have committed to the 2017 timetable as early adopters. They will also be automatically exchanging 2014 and 2015 financial account information bilaterally with the UK in 2016. The City of London is covered by the CRS which has been implemented in UK law.
In addition to their commitments to early adoption of the CRS, all of the Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies have engaged fully in the Global Forum Peer Review Process on exchange of information on request, have publicly committed to improvements in the transparency of company ownership and meet Financial Action Task Force requirements.