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Automatic exchange of tax information begins

The Isle of Man began automatically exchanging tax information with the European Union today (Friday).

The measure, which has also been introduced by Guernsey, is seen as a significant step towards improving openness and transparency.

Treasury Minister Anne Craine is quoted in the United Kingdom media as saying it demonstrates the Isle of Man's commitment to being 'an internationally responsible and co-operative finance centre which maintains an effective and pro-business regulatory environment'.

Under the 2005 European Savings Directive, EU members are expected to disclose information about the bank interest of people who receive savings income from one country, but live in another.

The Isle of Man and Guernsey aren't members of the European Union, but have brought in the measure to help it combat cross-border tax evasion.

They are among the first non-EU jurisdictions to bring in automatic exchange of information.

A spokesman for the Tax Justice Network, which has been severely critical of the Isle of Man and other offshore financial centres, has said the two Crown dependencies have taken 'a very positive step'.

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