Nicola Sharp of business crime solicitors Rahman Ravelli believes more developments could be likely.
British offshore tax havens are to send information about Russian assets registered in their jurisdictions to Russian tax authorities, despite the cancellation of an agreement on the sharing of such data.
Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man will disclose details about bank accounts, properties, investments and other assets owned by Russian citizens to the Russian Federal Tax Service this year.
Russia lifted restrictions on Russian citizens holding overseas bank accounts from the beginning of 2020 — providing the accounts are registered in a jurisdiction that takes part in automatic information sharing with the Russian tax authorities.
In 2019, the UK and Russian governments excluded each other from a list of countries eligible to receive such information, less than nine months after Russia signed up to the international scheme. But the three islands have named Russia as one of the countries which they will automatically share asset information with for the 2019 and 2020 tax years. This is a departure from last year when the islands followed the UK’s refusal to share information.
With Russia having taken the major decision to lift its restrictions in relation to those countries that it has information-sharing agreements with, it remains to be seen what the implications are. It will be of particular interest to observe how other nations respond – and whether we will see more of them taking a decision to join the international data sharing scheme.