The new breed of tax agreements that are progressively being forced upon the tax haven countries contains a far more intrusive power. The snooping country Canada can request in Article 4 that the tax haven country like Jersey (see Finance Canada's announcement) to actively collect and compile information! And by the agreement, the tax haven country agrees to collect it and hand it over.
" If the information in the possession of the competent authority of the requested Party is not sufficient to enable it to comply with the request for information, the requested Party shall use all relevant information gathering measures necessary to provide the requesting Party with the information requested, notwithstanding that the requested Party may not, at that time, need such information for its own tax purposes."It's hard to tell how many tax havens are affected so far but the steady flow of new agreements (e.g. Cayman Islands, Bahamas, Isle of Man, Bermuda, three of which are in a recent list of best places to open an offshore account on the Offshore Tax Haven blog) and the fact that the OECD countries back this thrust, suggest it will be more and more difficult to hide from the tax tentacles of governments the world over.
update Jan.19 ... and today Guernsey joins the list