British PM vows ‘to sweep away’ tax secrecy

British PM vows ‘to sweep away’ tax secrecy

PanARMENIAN.Net - The government will "sweep away" tax secrecy by forcing so-called shell companies to declare who makes money out of them, British Prime Minister David Cameron said, according to BBC News.

The PM said that "secretive companies in secretive locations" were used to avoid tax. He is also due to meet the leaders of Britain's Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies to urge them to be more open about their tax affairs.

Tax evasion and avoidance will be discussed at the G8 meeting next week.

Ahead of the G8 in County Fermanagh, the government has announced plans to require all British firms by law to register details of their ownership and beneficiaries with Companies House.

The register would be available only to authorities such as HM Revenue and Customs in the first instance but the government would consult on making it public.

Mr Cameron said he would like the register to be available to everyone but added: "I do not want to disadvantage Britain by doing something others won't do."

Treasury Chief Secretary Danny Alexander told the BBC ministers hoped that other countries would be prepared to create - and share - their own registers of beneficial ownership.

"The goal here is to have an international tax system that ensures that there aren't places where secretive corporate structures can hide their money from the tax authorities," he said. "It's critically important that we have transparency about who owns companies and who are the ultimate beneficiaries of any given corporate structure."

Mr Alexander said such transparency would be "very powerful" and would enable the government to recoup more tax.

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