G20 Will Push for End to Tax Havens

Brown enlists Obama to help crack down on offshore facilities
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 19, 2009 7:52 AM CST
Gordon Brown gestures during his monthly news conference at 10 Downing Street in London, Wednesday Feb. 18, 2009. Brown, who hosts the G20 in April, is pushing for an end to tax havens.   (AP Photo/Kieran Doherty, pool)
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(Newser) – Ahead of the G20 financial summit in London this April, Gordon Brown is pushing ahead with a major diplomatic effort to crack down on international tax havens that cost governments $150 billion a year. The British PM has held talks with fellow world leaders, including Barack Obama, reports the Guardian. While Obama has taken an interest in the Cayman Islands, Brown is pressing Switzerland to close its many loopholes.

Brown's plan has three parts: a clampdown on individuals who evade taxes with offshore accounts; punishment for corporations that use tax havens; and a tightening of regulation of markets, where billions are transferred ever day with no reporting. At a press conference yesterday, the PM said he was pushing for a unified regulatory system on tax and banking that would apply to all countries in the G20.
(Read more Gordon Brown stories.)