Market leading insight for tax experts
View online issue

CDs and OTs agree beneficial ownership disclosure

printer Mail

The government has reached agreements with the UK’s Crown dependencies and overseas territories, under which they will disclose information on company beneficial ownership to UK law enforcement and tax agencies. In a statement to the House of Commons on 11 April, prompted by the ‘Panama papers’ revelations (see, the prime minister announced that the government had ‘finalised arrangements’ with all of these territories except Anguilla and Guernsey. The financial secretary to the Treasury confirmed in the subsequent second reading debate on the Finance Bill that the government expects both territories to follow ‘in the coming days and months’.

Guernsey aims ‘by 2018 at the latest’ to have legislation in place for a ‘secure, consolidated and locally accessed register with a designated point of contact’. However, Guernsey’s chief minister has written to the prime minister advising that its recommendations ‘will not include a register which is publicly accessible as we do not believe that would allow us to demonstrate the information is secure, which is a material domestic concern’.

These agreements go some of the way towards achieving the government’s plans, announced in November 2015, for implementing the G20 principles on transparency of beneficial ownership. This envisaged introducing most of the proposals through new Money Laundering Regulations in 2017. The UK government intends to make its central register of beneficial ownership publicly accessible in June 2016, although this aspect remains a sticking point with some territories.

Issue: 1304
Categories: News , International taxes