The Vatican has signed its first inter-governmental deal with the US to improve international tax compliance and the exchange of tax information in view of the U.S. Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA).

Under the accord, the Holy See has agreed to automatically report information on Vatican Bank accounts held by US citizens with US Treasury.

The FATCA law, passed in 2010, is designed to boost financial organisations share data about US account holders with tax authorities in the US.

The Holy See and the US have also inked various agreements in the past, such as for information exchange on financial crimes, but these agreements were between agencies and not between two governments.

Vatican foreign minister Monsignor Paul Gallagher said that the recent move was part of "a further step in the Holy See’s long-term strategy to ensure and promote legality, transparency and ethical behaviour in the economic and financial fields."

Till date, about 62 countries have signed the FATCA deal with the US, whereas 50 others have reached "agreements in substance."

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The deal with the US is the latest measure by The Holy See to clean-up the Vatican Bank, also known as the Institute for Religious Works. The Vatican has recently also signed a tax data exchange deal with Italy.