Treasury Select Committee to investigate tax havens

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The House of Commons' Treasury Select Committee issued the follwoing press notice this afternoon:

Treasury Committee press notice no.42

30 April 2008: For Immediate Release

Treasury Committee announces new inquiry into Offshore Financial Centres and invites written evidence

New inquiry: The Treasury Committee has decided to undertake an inquiry into Offshore Financial Centres, as part of its ongoing work into Financial Stability and Transparency.

Invitation to submit written evidence: The Treasury Committee invites written evidence as part of its inquiry into Offshore Financial Centres. Suggested areas which written evidence might address are given below. Written evidence should reach the Treasury Committee by 12 noon on Thursday 19 June 2008.

Information about topics for written evidence:

The Committee would welcome, in particular, written evidence that relates to the following questions:

• To what extent, and why, are Offshore Financial Centres important to worldwide financial markets?

• To what extent does the use of Offshore Financial Centres threaten financial stability?

• How transparent are Offshore Financial Centres and the transactions that pass through them to the United Kingdom's tax authorities and financial regulators?

• To what extent does the growth in complex financial instruments rely on Offshore Financial Centres?

• How important have the levels of transparency and taxation in Offshore Financial Centres been in explaining their current position in worldwide financial markets?

• How do the taxation policies of Offshore Financial Centres impact on UK tax revenue and policy?

• Are British Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies well-regarded as Offshore Financial Centres, both in comparison to their peers and international standards?

• To what extent have Offshore Financial Centres ensured that they cannot be used in terrorist financing?

• What are the implications for the policies of HM Treasury arising from Offshore Financial Centres?

• What has been and is the extent and effect of double taxation treaty abuse within Offshore Financial Centres?

• To what extent do Offshore Financial Centres investigate businesses and individuals that appear to be evading UK taxation?

Written evidence should be in Word or rich text format-not PDF format-and sent by e-mail to The body of the e-mail must include a contact name, telephone number and postal address. The e-mail should also make clear who the submission is from. The deadline is Thursday 19 June 2008 at 12.00 noon.

Submissions should be in the format of a self-contained memorandum. Paragraphs should be numbered for ease of reference, and the document must include an executive summary. Further guidance on the submission of evidence can be found at

Submissions should be original work, not previously published or circulated elsewhere. Once submitted, your submission becomes the property of the Committee and no public use should be made of it unless you have first obtained permission from the Clerk of the Committee. Please bear in mind that Committees are not able to investigate individual cases.

The Committee normally, though not always, chooses to publish the written evidence it receives, either by printing the evidence, publishing it on the internet or by making it publicly available through the Parliamentary Archives. If there is any information you believe to be sensitive you should highlight it and explain what harm you believe would result from its disclosure; the Committee will take this into account in deciding whether to publish or further disclose the evidence.

For data protection purposes, it would be helpful if individuals wishing to submit written evidence send their contact details in a covering letter. You should be aware that there may be circumstances in which the House of Commons will be required to communicate information to third parties on request, in order to comply with its obligations under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

You can be sure that the Tax Justice Network will be submitting evidence.