Campaigners hail ‘significant’ UK move on tax havens

Britain’s historic decision to compel its overseas territories to identify the owners of registered companies marks a “significant” moment in the global crackdown on dirty money, campaigners said Wednesday (2 May).

On Tuesday, Prime Minister Theresa May’s Conservative minority government acknowledged it would not be able to block an amendment in the House of Commons backed by many of its own MPs.

Territories like the Cayman Islands, the British Virgin Islands and the Turks and Caicos Islands will have until December 31, 2020 to create public registers of so-called beneficial ownership or face direct intervention by London.

May, who had favoured a more consensual approach, changed her stance following MPs’ demands to improve transparency.

“The UK parliament… has taken a significant step toward global tax transparency by imposing public registers of beneficial ownership of companies on the UK’s overseas territories,” said the Tax Justice Network (TJN) campaign group.

“Until now, UK governments and parliamentarians have

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