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G8 summit ‘reaches agreement’ on tax transparency

International political leaders have agreed a ‘global strategy’ to tackle tax evasion and improve transparency, following discussions at the G8 summit.

Prime Minister David Cameron has outlined the plans, which include the sharing of tax information between countries, together with plans to create a UK register of beneficial ownership, which would require the owners of offshore shell companies to register their ownership with Companies House.

The proposals will pave the way for the automatic exchange of information between tax authorities, including information relating to the bank accounts held by their taxpayers.

Increasing transparency within the tax system has recently been high on the Government’s agenda, and in the run-up to the G8 summit the Crown Dependencies and Overseas Territories agreed to join the Multilateral Convention on the sharing of tax information.

However, some critics have argued that the plans fail to commit member countries to any concrete action.