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G20 AGREES TO CLOSE TAX LOOPHOLES ON AUTOMATIC TAX DATA SHARING

The Group of Twenty Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors (G-20) agreed to implement a set of common standards for sharing bank account information across borders with automatic exchange of information between tax authorities by the end of 2015. Their aim is to develop stricter rules on cross-border taxation to close loopholes that have allowed multinationals up to now to avoid paying taxes.

“The endorsement is a step toward putting an end to the banking secrecy as we know it,” announced Pascal Saint-Amans, Director of the OECD’s (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) center for tax policy and administration. A decision on further details, such as the required technology and rules on how governments will exchange tax data, is to be made at a G-20 meeting next September.

The OECD, supported by 34 member countries, is working on plans for a global exchange of information to crack down tax-avoidance strategies. The estimated acquired profit of U.S. companies held offshore was $2 trillion, Pascal mentioned.

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