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Tax Havens: International Cooperation

Volume 476: debated on Monday 19 May 2008

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what steps he is taking in co-operation with other governments and international organisations to tackle tax havens; and if he will make a statement. (205886)

The Government are committed to combating tax evasion and avoidance and is working closely with EU and OECD partners to tackle the problem. Tax havens are characterised by banking secrecy and a lack of cooperation for tax compliance purposes. A key objective therefore is to increase transparency and exchange of information. The EU savings directive and the associated agreements with non-EU countries and territories play an important part in this. The current review of the directive is an opportunity to pursue our objective. Within the OECD there is a renewed determination to push forward the process of negotiating tax information exchange agreements with offshore jurisdictions. We urge all countries, including tax havens, to meet OECD transparency standards.