Six jurisdictions including Luxembourg, Liechtenstein, Colombia, Greece, Iceland and Malta have agreed to sign tax information sharing agreements with UK Government.

Following the meeting of the Global Forum on Tax Transparency in Jakarta, all the six jurisdictions share information with HM Revenue & Customs through the G5’s pilot initiative on automatic exchange of tax information.

However, the multi-lateral information sharing pilot programme will see tax information automatically shared between the participating jurisdictions, bringing the total number of countries involved in the programme to 37.

The move will curb on those hiding assets offshore to evade tax and builds on the progress made towards a new global standard in the automatic exchange of tax information. It will also fight against global tax evasion and will reduce the hiding places for those who seek to evade tax.
The news comes after the Treasury announced that Overseas Territories of Bermuda, the British Virgin Islands, Gibraltar, Montserrat and the Turks and Caicos Islands have agreed to automatically share information on UK taxpayers, following the earlier agreements concluded with the Isle of Man, Guernsey, Jersey and the Cayman Islands.

Additionally, the UK’s Crown Dependencies (CDs) and British Overseas Territories (BOTs) have also agreed to be part of the G5 multilateral information sharing pilot.

Information on UK taxpayers will be shared with HMRC from 2016 and a number of disclosure facilities are also in operation until this time to settle taxpayer’s issues.

Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, said: "This government has been leading the way in pushing for greater tax transparency and information sharing, putting it at the heart of our G8 agenda. We have also made significant investment in HMRC’s anti-avoidance and evasion work to ensure that people pay the tax they owe."

The finance ministers of France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK said: "The new global standard, to be finalised early next year, will mark a step change in our ability to clamp down on tax evasion. In making this commitment and joining the large number of jurisdictions that have committed to date, Colombia, Greece, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg and Malta have recognised that those jurisdictions which will prosper in the future will be those which embrace tax transparency and work cooperatively to tackle tax evasion."