Under the agreement, “unprecedented levels” of information, such as account balances, interest payments and beneficial ownership, from countries across the world will be disclosed to UK tax authorities in a move to lessen the extent of offshore tax evasion.
The government stated that new standards, created by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, will further enhance HMRC’s ability to restrict tax evaders and provide them with the details of assets held overseas by UK taxpayers.
The early adopters include all G5 countries, but the United States has not signed.
The OECD said the current signatories have agreed to work towards a launch deadline of September 2017 when the first information exchange will take place.
Chancellor George Osborne said the deal sends a “clear message to those who still think they can escape making a fair contribution to our public services and to reducing our deficit: you can hide no more; we are coming to get you”.
The Chancellor added: “It was three years ago when, with my German colleague Wolfgang Schäuble, I launched a campaign for a new international deal to catch people who evade their taxes by hiding their money overseas.
“I never expected that within such a relatively short period we would succeed in getting 51 countries to sign up to this agreement.”
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