Offshore centres to face increasing tax scrutiny

A senior figure from the Isle of Man is predicting offshore centres will be
increasingly under the microscope in the next five years after a global
offensive on tax avoidance in 2009.

Speaking on “The Evolution of Global Tax Standards” at a conference on the
Future of Onshore and Offshore Financial Centres, Malcolm Couch, assessor of
income tax in the Isle of Man, warned there would be increased attention on the
development and implementation of tax standards over the next five years.

“This year we have seen increased attention on how countries around the world
implement tax standards and co-operate with each other, and this was
particularly highlighted by the focus of the G20 and the OECD on the issue,”
said Dr Couch.

“We have also seen the evolution of the Global Forum on Transparency and
Exchange of Information into a formally established body mandated to review
international tax standards; and are now likely to see a proliferation of
additional organisations scrutinising standards.”

He added that the development of effective standards would hinge on further
co-operation from offshore centres.

“As a leading international business centre the Isle of Man will continue our
programme of negotiating tax co-operation agreements and engaging on this issue
with countries around the world, added Dr Couch.

“Already this year we have signed three double taxation agreements, four tax
information agreements and a number of additional agreements.”

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