Osborne promises crackdown on tax avoidance
UK Chancellor George Osborne has announced plans to stop multinational corporations and wealthy individuals hiding profits in offshore “shell” companies by introducing a UK register of beneficial ownership.
Open to the public, this register will make it clear who is withholding tax from the government as Mr Osborne plans to “update tax rules and make them fit for the century”.
Speaking to BBC One’s Breakfast, Mr Osborne said: “I think we can do quite a lot and I think you are going to see some concrete steps here at this summit to change the rules about tax that have been in place for decades but, as the world has developed, haven’t really kept up.
“As a result, individuals can hide the taxes they are supposed to pay in the international banking system and companies are able to shift their profits around the globe, away from where those profits are actually generated and therefore don’t pay tax,” he added.
Britain secured agreements from ten of its overseas territories and crown dependencies, perceived as tax havens, to register to a new Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development standard on the exchange of tax information.
Mr Osborne has made clear his hopes that fellow G8 countries the US, France, Germany, Italy, Russia, Canada and Japan will follow suit on the issue.
The new plans complement the UK’s agenda for the G8 summit. Tax, trade, and transparency have been prioritised.
With concerns such as Syria still high on the agenda, talks at the G8 summit will come to an end on Tuesday afternoon.