Leaders of the G8 major economies have agreed new measures to clamp down on money launderers, illegal tax evaders and corporate tax avoiders.
Governments agreed to give each other automatic access to information on their residents’ tax affairs.
They will also require shell companies – often used to exploit tax loopholes and invest money anonymously – to identify their effective owners.
The summit communique urged countries to “fight the scourge of tax evasion”.
The measures are designed to combat illegal evasion of taxes, as well as legal tax avoidance by large corporations that make use of loopholes and tax havens.
The summit in Northern Ireland also saw the launch of free trade negotiations between the EU and US, which UK Prime Minister David Cameron, who was hosting the summit, dubbed “the biggest bilateral trade agreement in history”.
Tax, trade and transparency – dubbed “The Three Ts” – were placed at the top of the UK’s agenda for its presidency of the G8, which consists of the UK, US, Germany, France, Italy, Russia, Canada and Japan.
But the summit has been overshadowed by the conflict in Syria.
The G8 leaders – including Russian President Vladimir Putin, an ally of Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad – backed calls for Syrian peace talks to be held in Geneva “as soon as possible”.
Mr Cameron said the leaders had managed “to overcome fundamental differences”, but no timetable for the Geneva talks was given, and the statement made no mention of what role Mr Assad could play in the future.