The US and five European governments including the UK have agreed to share information on US account holders in an effort to crack down on offshore tax evasion.
The tax agreement takes the countries a step closer towards complying with the US Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) - part of US legislation that aims to combat tax evasion by US tax residents using foreign accounts.
FATCA requires Americans to disclose overseas holdings directly to the US Internal Revenue Service. It also requires foreign financial institutions to tell the IRS about offshore accounts controlled by Americans if assets in them are worth more than $50,000 (£32,000).
Business and finance journalist