United Kingdom Signs Bilateral Agreement to Combat Offshore Tax Evasion and Implement FATCA

On September 14, 2012, the U.S. Department of the Treasury announced that it has signed a bilateral agreement with the United Kingdom to implement the information reporting and withholding tax provisions commonly known as the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA). Enacted by Congress in 2010, these provisions target non-compliance by U.S. taxpayers using foreign accounts. The bilateral agreement signed this week is based on the model published in July of this year and developed in consultation with France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the United Kingdom and marks an important step in establishing a common approach to combatting tax evasion based on the automatic exchange of information.

“Today’s announcement marks a significant step forward in our efforts to work collaboratively to combat offshore tax evasion,” said Treasury Assistant Secretary for Tax Policy Mark Mazur. “We are pleased that the United Kingdom, one of our closest allies, is the first jurisdiction to sign a bilateral agreement with us and we look forward to quickly concluding agreements based on this model with other jurisdictions.”

The Treasury Department is in communication with several other governments who have expressed interest in concluding a similar bilateral agreement to implement FATCA and expects to sign additional bilateral agreements in the near future.

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