British Virgin Islands in US tax evasion talks

American dollars Last week, the Cayman Islands agreed to share more information with US tax authorities

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The British Virgin Islands (BVI) has begun talks with US authorities over compliance with a law designed to crack down on offshore tax evasion.

The BVI, home to about 30,000 people and 500,000 registered companies, is one of the world's biggest offshore trust jurisdictions.

Rules coming into force next year will mean US taxpayers must disclose greater detail about assets held abroad.

BVI Premier Orlando Smith said talks with the US were the best way forward.

Jurisdictions such as the BVI provide incorporation registration, so that businesses and super-rich investors can claim they are based on the islands and so avoid taxes in countries where their work is carried out.

Last week, the Cayman Islands agreed with the US on providing information on accounts held by US citizens and residents.

Mr Smith told a news briefing that his administration was negotiating an "intergovernmental agreement" with Washington to comply with the US Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act.

"We are of the very considered opinion that this course is the best one to adopt for the BVI," he said.

Officials on the Caribbean jurisdictions of the Bahamas and Bermuda have also said they intend to comply with the US regulations.

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