David Cameron 'pushing at open door' over tax transparency

David Cameron
Image caption David Cameron wrote to 10 British overseas territories and crown dependencies

The Isle of Man's Chief Minister has "welcomed" a letter from the UK Prime Minister calling for increased tax transparency between the two countries.

Mr Cameron wrote to 10 British overseas territories and crown dependencies, including the Isle of Man.

His letters urged British overseas territories to "get their house in order" and sign up to international treaties on tax.

Chief minister Allan Bell said: "Mr Cameron is pushing at an open door."

The 10 territories that received the letter are Bermuda, the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, Gibraltar, Anguilla, Montserrat, the Turks and Caicos Islands, Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man.

Critics claim such places are used by companies for tax avoidance or evasion.

Mr Bell said: "We are well ahead with this agenda and fully support the level playing field objective as a fairer and more effective solution for governments and business."

Earlier this year the Isle of Man signed tax sharing agreements with both the US and UK governments and more recently entered the G5 pilot, which would enable automatic information exchanges with France, Germany, Italy and Spain, along with the UK.

Mr Cameron's plea came ahead of June's G8 summit in Northern Ireland, when the UK is expected to push for tighter tax measures.

"With one month to go, this is the crucial moment to get our own houses in order," Mr Cameron wrote in the letter.

"I respect your right to be lower tax jurisdictions... but lower taxes are only sustainable if what is owed is actually paid."

Tax avoidance, where companies operate within the rules to avoid paying taxes, and tax evasion which is outside the law, have risen high on the political agenda in recent months.

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