Tue, Mar 03, 2009 - Page 6 News List

Tax havens could face sanctions over tax dodgers

THE GUARDIAN , LONDON

Offshore havens that refuse to hand over information on tax dodgers face an unprecedented campaign of economic sanctions by the world’s most powerful countries, which is likely to be agreed to at the G20 summit in London next month.

The campaign could see Britain targeting some of its own overseas territories, including the Cayman Islands and the British Virgin Islands, where British banks and corporations use scores of subsidiaries to avoid tax.

The blacklisting threat comes as opposition politicians in the UK call for a review of the tax haven dealings by banks being bailed out by the British taxpayer.

Following the G20 preparatory summit in Berlin last week, officials are preparing a new list of uncooperative havens. Other leading centers of secretive offshore activity, including Liechtenstein and Panama, are among more than 30 nations that have failed to sign agreements to hand over information about corporations and individuals who take advantage of their secrecy and their low taxes.

Earlier lists which were prepared by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development merely “named and shamed.” Now the G20 nations plan to promote a series of sanctions which are designed to deprive the havens of billions of dollars of business.

Also See: Switzerland could be on tax haven blacklist: Sarkozy

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