Category: Q-Z

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...

Apple, Netflix, MS and IBM may have to pay `google tax’

The `Google tax’ could soon ensnare the likes of IBM, Microsoft, Amazon Web Services, Apple and Netflix, which provide online services in India. Cloud computing companies and content providers with customers in the country may be needed to pay equalisation levy on their revenue from the next financial year as...

Black money across the border: Why Pakistan’s elite are quivering as UAE demands tax information

According to unofficial estimates, more than $2 billion has flowed into Dubai real estate from Pakistanis every year for the past three years. Last week, account holders in a major UAE bank began receiving letters alerting them that soon they would be required to furnish information “with a view to...

Oxfam: Luxembourg, Ireland, Netherlands among worst tax havens

The NGO’s report exposes the worst offenders in the ‘race to the bottom on corporate tax.’ Luxembourg, Ireland, Cyprus, and the Netherlands are among the world’s 10 worst tax havens, despite an ongoing EU crackdown on tax avoidance and profit shifting across the bloc. The findings come in a report...

Showdown between ATO and big business looms as list of company tax paid is revealed

A showdown between the Australian Taxation Office and the nation’s largest companies including Chevron, Crown and BHP Billiton is looming as the tax man hits seven large companies with tax bills amounting to $2 billion. On Friday, the ATO released its corporate tax transparency report for 2014-15, which includes limited...

Final opportunity to disclose offshore assets before 1 May 2017 introduced by Finance Bill 2016

1. Why was a new offshore provision introduced by this year’s Finance Bill? Following revelations in the “Panama Papers” of major worldwide tax evasion in April 2016 (which included certain Irish Resident account holders), the Minister for Finance announced on budget day, 12 October 2016 that this year’s Finance Bill...

Bermuda is world’s worst corporate tax haven, says Oxfam

Four UK territories in list ‘undermine Britain’s efforts to be responsible member of the international community’ Bermuda is the world’s worst corporate tax haven, according to a list by Oxfam, which includes three other UK territories among those it names and shames. The charity’s list of the “world’s worst” 15...

NETHERLANDS ACCUSED OF MAKING MORE SECRET TAX DEALS WITH GLOBAL BUSINESSES

The Netherlands is still making secret tax deals with multinational companies, according to an European report on which Dutch research foundation SOMO worked. The Netherlands remains one of the ost important countries in Europe when it comes to tax evasion, the report states according to ANP. Last year the Netherlands...

Can current offshore wealth management centres survive?

After recent scandals, many financial and wealth management centres are losing their allure and ‘mid-shore’ options are taking their place, argues Philip Marcovici. Will all existing financial and wealth management centres survive? Are tax-free secrecy havens (the “offshore world”) a feature of the past? Is there room for entry of...

Putting an end to corporate tax controversy

Controversy over giant corporations paying dwarfed tax bills has put finance chiefs in the media and public spotlight When giant companies with devilishly complex tax arrangements are accused of unethical behaviour, the stock response is “we act within the rules”. If the public and politicians don’t like it, the argument...

Final Response to Non-Dom Consultation Published

In Depth There is mixed news for affected individuals, including far-reaching changes relating to offshore trusts and a further wait (possibly until March 2017) for the rest of the draft legislation. The following are highlights from the government’s response and the draft legislation. Deeming Provisions Deemed Domiciled: Non-doms will become...

ICC welcomes adoption of OECD Multilateral Convention

The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) welcomes the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD)’s release last week of a multilateral convention which allows for swift implementation of a series of tax treaty measures encompassed in the OECD/G20 Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) project. The release follows the conclusion...

UK Unveils Tough New Tax Avoidance Penalties

New laws to punish those who help set up offshore schemes to enable tax evasion were revealed Monday, as the U.K. government cranks up the heat on advisers and planners. Britain’s government has widened the Finance Bill 2017 to include further measures that will tackle tax evasion, avoidance and aggressive...

Planning for the Use of the United States as a Financial Haven: Part One

The United States has not agreed to participate in the Common Reporting Standard (CRS), relying instead on the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) regime enacted in 2010 and initiated in 2014. United States participation in CRS is highly unlikely. Even with a change in control of Congress, CRS may...

‘Revenue will look for you – and it will find you’

Taxpayers with offshore assets urged to get affairs in order before May clampdown Taxpayers with offshore assets ranging from foreign properties to deposit accounts or structured investments are being urged to get their affairs in order ahead of a May clampdown by the Revenue Commissioners – even if they believe...

Implementation of Common Reporting Standard in Hong Kong – Implications for Family Trust with a Private Trust Company as Trustee

The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) issued the Standard for Automatic Exchange of Financial Information in Tax Matters (Standard for AEOI) in July 2014, which aims to prevent offshore tax evasion and maintain the integrity of tax systems. Over 100 jurisdictions have committed to comply with the Standard...

Trump warns that companies that offshore jobs will face 35 percent tariff

President-elect Donald Trump fired another warning shot Sunday at U.S. companies considering moving their operations out of the country, threatening “retributions or consequences” such as a hefty border tax if they do. The pronouncements came in a string of early morning tweets. Trump declared that he intends to incentivize businesses...

Google, Facebook Targeted by Indonesia in Push for More Tax

Indonesia is widening its tax net to target global technology giants like Google and Facebook Inc., a strategy that’s raising red flags for fear it may deter foreign investment. Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati is seeking to squeeze more revenue out of an economy that’s been hit by weak commodity...