VATICAN CITY – The Vatican has agreed to share tax information with the United States in its latest move to improve the reputation of its scandal-marred bank and crack down on tax cheats.
Vatican and U.S. officials signed an agreement Wednesday in which the Holy See committed to comply with a 2010 U.S. law designed to encourage — some say force — foreign financial institutions to share information about U.S. account holders with U.S. tax authorities. The aim is to make it more difficult for Americans to use overseas accounts to evade U.S. taxes.
The Vatican bank has long been accused by Italian authorities of being an offshore tax haven. Under then-Pope Benedict XVI, the Vatican began reforming its financial institutions to comply with international standards to fight money laundering and tax evasion.