Treasury Minister Eddie Teare MHK has signed an historic agreement in Berlin today placing the Isle of Man amongst the first group of countries in the world to move to a new global standard for tax information exchange.
The agreement commits its 51 signatories to share information automatically in accordance with the Common Reporting Standard developed by the OECD and endorsed by the G20 group of major economies earlier this year.
It is expected that the Isle of Man will first provide and receive information under the new system, which is based on the FATCA model of automatic exchange, in September 2017.
Minister Teare commented:
'Tax evasion is a global problem and it requires a global solution. The Isle of Man has been at the forefront of support for a single global standard as the fairest and most effective way of achieving tax transparency while minimising compliance costs for business and government.
'Today a huge step has been taken towards making that global standard a reality. This initiative has progressed much more rapidly than anybody would have predicted a few years ago, and I am proud that the Isle of Man has been able to play its part.'
Attended by finance ministers from around the world, today's signing ceremony in Berlin took place alongside the seventh meeting of the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes.
Minister Teare was invited to sign the multilateral competent authority agreement by Germany's Federal Minister of Finance Wolfgang Schäuble.
The agreement implements a commitment the Isle of Man made on automatic exchange of information in 2013 and is in line with the related ground-breaking FATCA agreements signed by the Isle of Man with the UK and the USA that year. Legislation to give effect to this latest agreement will be presented to Tynwald in due course.