On Tuesday 22 October 2013, Guernsey and Jersey signed inter-governmental agreements (IGAs) with the UK in relation to tax information exchange.

The newly signed IGAs will enhance the exchange of tax information between the Channel Islands and the UK while furthering the Channel Islands' commitment to tax transparency, combating tax evasion and meeting international standards. The IGAs were signed in London by Guernsey's Chief Minister Deputy Peter Harwood, Jersey's Chief Minister Senator Ian Gorst and David Gauke MP, UK Financial Secretary.

The IGAs are based on a similar agreement being negotiated with the US relating to the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) and expected to be signed in the near future. 

The islands will be asked to formally confirm their support for the compilation of an OECD Model for automatic information exchange, and their support for the OECD model to be rapidly adopted as the global standard for automatic information exchange.

Guernsey's Chief Minister Deputy Peter Harwood said: "These measures are in line with the provisions of the agreement being negotiated with the US regarding FATCA, which we will be signing shortly. The two agreements with the UK and the US have been supported by our industry, being key to a sustainable future for the finance sector and securing our global reputation for tax transparency."

Jersey's Chief Minister Ian Gorst said: "This agreement once again demonstrates our long-held commitment to international cooperation on tax matters. It sends another clear signal that Jersey has no need or desire to tolerate tax evasion or aggressive tax avoidance."

Guidance notes on the IGAs are being developed by both islands working in conjunction and will be published shortly.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.