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When the scrutiny gets tough, the rich get more sophisticated

Expect a more intense cat-and-mouse game over offshore wealth in 2017

HONG KONG/SINGAPORE There will be greater pressure for transparency on financial accounts -- and more cross-border sharing between tax authorities -- in 2017. So be ready for a new global cat-and-mouse game about who holds what offshore.

A new standard for the automatic exchange of information from financial institutions to governments about nonresident accounts is aimed at curbing the use of tax havens. Fiduciary services professionals contend their more sophisticated high-net-worth clients are unlikely to stop storing their fortunes offshore, despite attractive tax amnesties offered this year in places such as Indonesia and India.

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