Category: Q-Z

Ending secret identities is the ‘new frontier’ in fighting tax evasion: OECD’s head of tax Pascal Saint-Amans

Revealing the secret identifies behind shell companies and opaque trusts is the “new frontier” in fighting tax evasion, says the OECD’s head of tax Pascal Saint-Amans. In an exclusive interview with Fairfax Media, Mr Saint-Amans also spoke about the Turnbull government’s tougher domestic laws aimed at cracking down on multinational...

Westpac: We Will Have To Pass On Aus Bank Levy

Westpac has said that Australia’s new bank levy will cost it around AUD370m (USD275.7m) a year, and warned that “no company can simply ‘absorb’ a new tax.” In a letter to shareholders, Westpac chair Lindsay Maxsted described the tax as “bad public policy.” He said that the Government intends to...

The common reporting standard and charities: do you have filing requirements with HMRC?

The Common Reporting Standard (the CRS) is, like FACTA (the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act), an information exchange regime aimed at realising international tax transparency. Exchange of information under CRS is achieved by requiring certain bodies including banks and other “Financial Institutions”, to collect data and report some of it...

Tax on offshore investments: time to come clean

The South African Revenue Service (SARS) launched the Special Voluntary Disclosure Programme (SVDP) in October 2016, providing taxpayers with the opportunity to make good on any tax and/or exchange control contraventions of which they may be guilty in relation to offshore investments. The nine-month window period opened on October 1,...

Regulatory Issues: Financial account information exchange for increased tax compliance

Malaysian individuals and entities that have bank accounts overseas will soon see their financial information being shared with other countries and tax authorities in an effort to boost global transparency and tax compliance. This requirement is part of the automatic exchange of financial account information set out by the Organisation...

ECJ Rules In Austria’s Favor In Tax Dispute With Germany

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has ruled in favor of Austria in its dispute with Germany relating to the taxation of interest from profit-participation certificates received by an Austrian bank from a German bank. The case involved the interpretation and application of Article 11 of the 2000 double tax...

Trust Companies, Banks Should Be Main Haven Targets: EU Report

New measures targeting trust companies and banks in their role of helping to create offshore companies, such as the more than 200,000 exposed in the year-old Panama Papers, should be the priority for EU legislators in their efforts to crack down on the use of tax haven intermediaries, according to...

Tax evasion of more than Rs 1.37 lakh crore detected in last three years

The Revenue Department on Friday said it has detected evasion of more than Rs 1.37 lakh crore in both direct and indirect taxes and identified over 1,000 shell companies which indulged in bogus transactions worth Rs 13,300 crore in the last three financial years. Warning tax evaders, it said the...

Time to tackle the shell companies

Hyderabad: Shell companies are becoming a common phenomenon globally and even in India. These companies are posing several challenges to governments and regulators for various reasons had been probing their involvement in large scale money laundering and tax avoidance cases. A shell company is a non-trading organisation that does not...

Law Society reaches understanding with IRD on FATCA

The New Zealand Law Society says that following discussions with Inland Revenue and the New Zealand Bankers’ Association it has now reached an understanding with Inland Revenue about application of FATCA to lawyers’ trusts accounts. FATCA is the United States’ Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act. Its objective is to reduce...

Westpac crackdown on foreign buyers and money laundering

Property buyers will be quizzed about their tax residency under new anti-money-laundering rules being introduced by Westpac and its subsidiaries St George Bank, Bank of Melbourne and BankSA. Mortgage brokers, who act as intermediaries between the banks and buyers, are being told that from this week they must also ask...

What happens if you are from the UK or own assets in the UK?

Beware of the dreaded inheritance tax and changes to it from April 2017! Approximately 1.3 million Britons now live in Australia and Brexit may only increase this number! Many think that moving to Australia means they no longer need to worry about UK tax, but often they are not fully...

Five things agents and developers need to know about the non-dom tax changes

From 6 April 2017, non-dom owners of UK property will be liable to inheritance tax (IHT) at 40% on any UK residential property they own. This has always been the case where a non-dom (broadly an individual who is resident in the UK but who has their permanent home abroad)...

New Zealand: New Zealand To Enact Tighter Foreign Trust Disclosure Rules

The New Zealand Parliament has passed a Bill which, following royal assent, will meaningfully increase disclosure obligations for NZ resident trustees of NZ foreign trusts. The Taxation (Business Tax, Exchange of Information, and Remedial Matters) Bill, was passed by Parliament on 14 February 2017. The Bill contains important provisions relating...

EU wants stricter transparency rules on ownership to prevent tax evasion and fight Money Laundering

The European Parliament’s Monetary Affairs and Civil Liberties committees’ overwhelming support for access by EU citizens to information concerning the beneficial owners of companies without having to demonstrate a ‘legitimate interest’ and trusts would have to meet the same requirements. MEPs agreed the on their position on EU Anti-Money Laundering...

New tax measure takes aim at Offshore Trusts

A bombshell hidden in the detail of the 2017 Budget review relates to the taxation of offshore trusts. It refers to the 2015 Budget review in which it was announced that measures would be introduced to the tax treatment of foreign companies held by interposed trusts. No specific countermeasures were...

Switzerland Is Still a Safer Haven than Brexit Britain

(Bloomberg Gadfly) — A referendum lost. Voters crying foul at cuts to public services. The threat of financial chaos and businesses sent packing. This isn’t Brexit Britain. It’s Switzerland. The country this weekend voted down a government plan to keep offering tasty tax breaks to multinational companies — while still...

German, Swedish Banks Back Tougher Beneficial Owner Rules

German banks support stricter beneficial ownership rules for companies and trusts, while the leading Scandinavian bank backed an offshore corporate economic substance test to help comply with EU laws against money laundering and tax evasion. Testifying before the European Parliament’s Panama Papers investigative committee, the Association of German Banks told...

BEPS big bang complexity for income tax treaties – on a delayed fuse

The OECD made its end-November 2016 deadline to release the text of the multilateral treaty to give effect to the BEPS Actions which involve changes to tax treaties, see here. The 49 page treaty text, which is commonly referred to as the multilateral instrument or MLI, and 85 page explanatory...

The ‘indirect transfer provisions’ monster

The most important task of the Finance Minister in the 2017-18 budget is to tame the “Indirect Transfer Provisions” monster born out of amendments to Section 9 of the Income Tax Act, 1961. In response to the Supreme Court’s judgement in the famous Vodafone case, the Finance Act, 2012 amended...

Income-tax dept issues norms to determine residency status of companies

New guidelines aim to check tax evasion, ensure foreign firms are not taxed on their global income. New Delhi: The income-tax (I-T) department on Tuesday issued the final guidelines for place of effective management (PoEM) rules that seek to determine the residency status of a firm for calculating its tax liability. The...

‘Tax haven’ Canada being used by offshore cheats, Panama Papers show

Country’s reputation being exploited for ‘snow washing’ global money trails, experts warn Far from the palm-fringed beaches of the usual offshore tax havens, Canada has quietly become a go-to destination for international tax cheats eager to exploit the country’s twin benefits of a sterling reputation and rules that allow private...

Canada Revenue Agency monitoring Facebook, Twitter posts of some Canadians

Agency is increasingly turning to cutting-edge data analysis techniques to improve service and ‘compliance’ The Canada Revenue Agency is scrutinizing the Facebook pages, Twitter feeds and other social media posts of Canadians it suspects could be cheating on their taxes. That’s just one example of the agency’s increasing focus on...

Register of people with significant control will not affect Crown territories

The government has quashed calls to look at extending the requirement to publish a public register of people with significant control to companies incorporated in the Crown dependencies and overseas territories, as part of a bid to increase tax transparency, saying new rules on the automatic exchange of information are...

ATO warns energy giants over offshore profit hubs

The Australian Taxation Office has its sights on a $30 billion-a-year natural gas export bonanza expected over the next few years, warning oil and gas giants not to follow the lead of the big miners and “inappropriately shift profits” by selling through tax haven Singapore. At the same time, it...

Panama not cooperating with Malta tax authorities

Authorities unable to access leaked e-mails from Mossack Fonseca Panama is not cooperating with the Maltese tax authorities in their investigations into the Panama Papers leak, according to Finance Minister Edward Scicluna. Prof. Scicluna made his comments to Malta Today. Inland Revenue Commissioner Marvin Gaerty told this paper last year...

Special tax regime for Non-Habitual Portuguese Resident individuals

Portuguese income tax law provides for a 20% reduced rate and, in respect to income obtained abroad, a full tax exemption, for certain types of income derived by individuals having the status of Non-Habitual Portuguese Residents (NHPR). Any individual that in a certain year becomes tax resident in Portugal will...

The favourable tax regime of new Italian residents

The 2017 Budget Law introduced (starting from fiscal year 2017) favourable provisions for people wishing to become tax residents in Italy. It is aimed at wealthy individuals who wish to bring in new capital resources. The regime is inspired by the non-domiciled resident regime which is in force in the...

Snapchat opts for London over Dublin for international HQ

Move could be a worrying indicator of investment trends post-Brexit, post-Beps Snap, the company behind Snapchat, has opted to open its new new international headquarters in London, rather than Dublin, Amsterdam or Luxembourg, bucking a trend which for decades has seen US multinationals book their international sales in one of...

A Classic Case Of Double Taxation?

The Central Board of Direct Taxes in India issued Circular Number 41 on December 21, 2016 providing clarifications on applicability of ‘indirect transfer’ provisions under the Indian Income Tax Act, 1961 to investors of Foreign Portfolio Investors (FPIs) – earlier known as Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs) in India. The circular...

Google avoided billions in taxes by funneling money offshore

Alphabet Inc.’s Google managed to save $3.6 billion in 2015 by shifting its profits to a Bermuda shell company, according to filings in the Netherlands. Google used Ireland and the Netherlands as intermediaries. According to files obtained by Bloomberg, Google used the so-called “Double Irish” and a “Dutch Sandwich” tax...

South African Tax Bills Approved By Parliament

South Africa’s Ministry of Finance has published the 2016 Taxation Laws Amendment Bill (TLAB), which has received parliamentary approval and gives effect to the tax changes announced in the Budget in February this year, together with legislation confirming the final details of the Special Voluntary Disclosure Program (SVDP). With changes...