20/01/2009 - Guernsey and the United Kingdom have today signed a bilateral agreement for exchange of information for tax purposes bringing to 10 the number of such agreements entered into by Guernsey. The agreement is especially significant given the close economic and political relations between Guernsey and the United Kingdom.
Jeffrey Owens, Director of the OECD’s Centre for Tax Policy and Administration welcomed the new agreement as an important development. Given the current financial crisis, he noted, “it is now more important than ever that countries implement international standards of transparency and exchange of information.”
“Guernsey has signed nine tax information agreements with other countries within the past year, making its commitment to international standards in these areas clear and strengthening its reputation as a legitimate financial centre,” Mr. Owens said. “Guernsey has shown that the standards can be implemented quickly where there is a real willingness to do so.”
OECD's work in the area of cross-border finance is designed to enable countries to fully and fairly enforce their tax laws (see progress reports issued in 2000, 2001, 2004 and 2006). A total of 35 jurisdictions have committed to work with OECD countries under the auspices of the OECD's Global Forum on Taxation to improve transparency and to establish effective information exchange for tax purposes, and many other countries and international organisations have also endorsed these principles.
A report issued last September, "Tax Co-operation: Towards a Level Playing Field - 2008 Assessment by the Global Forum on Taxation", describes the progress made in 83 OECD and non OECD economies in implementing the high standards of transparency and exchange of information for tax purposes.
For further information, journalists are invited to contact: in Guernsey, James Falla (tel: +44 1481 717225); in United Kingdom, Helen Jones (tel: + 44 20 7147 2328); at OECD, Pascal Saint Amans (tel: + 33 1 4524 9746).