Category: Africa

Nigeria Needs to Boost Tax-to-GDP Ratio

ABUJA – Nigeria has begun to take steps to boost its tax-to-GDP ratio beyond the miserly level of 6 percent. Over the weekend at the 2017 Spring Meetings of the IMF-World Bank/IMF in Washington DC the Finance Minister of Nigeria said that the national government must take extra efforts to...

Hong Kong Signs AEOI Pacts With Portugal And South Africa

Hong Kong has signed agreements with Portugal and South Africa to automatically exchange financial account information in tax matters. The agreements expand Hong Kong’s Automatic Exchange Of Information (AEOI) network to include a total of 11 countries. The other reportable jurisdictions for Hong Kong are Belgium, Canada, Guernsey, Italy, Japan,...

Hong Kong signs agreements with Portugal and South Africa on automatic exchange of financial account information in tax matters

Hong Kong has signed agreements with Portugal and South Africa for conducting automatic exchange of financial account information in tax matters (AEOI), a Government spokesman said today (April 3). “We have been seeking to expand Hong Kong’s AEOI network with our tax treaty partners. The signing of agreements with Portugal...

Countries ‘losing £400bn in taxes a year to profit shifting’

Governments around the world are losing as much as half a trillion US dollars (£400 billion) a year in tax revenue due to so-called “profit shifting” by multinational companies, according to research. The research published by the Tax Justice Network found that poorer countries were hardest-hit by the practice, which...

Inflation: How government is collecting more tax revenues by stealth

These three CGT exclusions have remained unchanged for five years. Over the last few years government has collected a significant amount of tax revenue by not fully adjusting the personal income tax tables for inflationary increases in earnings, thereby increasing the effective tax rate of individuals. A middle-class individual earning...

Increasing tax revenue: Is a new approach required?

The importance of taxation to a nation’s economic wealth and development cannot be overemphasised. However, the achievement of this goal is often undermined by tax evasion and deliberate attempts by multinationals to shift profits from one jurisdiction to another, amongst others. Over the years, Nigeria has attempted to use taxation...

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...

MoF signs two agreements on avoidance of double taxation, protection and promotion of investment with Burundi

ABU DHABI, 16th February, 2017 (WAM)–The Ministry of Finance, MoF, has signed two final agreements on the avoidance of double taxation and the protection and promotion of investment with Burundi. The agreements came as part of the Ministry’s strategy to expand its international relations and to protect and promote Emirati...

The end of international tax planning?

CROSS-border taxation in current times is poised for significant changes. Tax is key in foreign ventures. Absent tax strategies and foreign tax leakages would erode margins and return of investment. Although international tax-efficient strategies to mitigate capital gains tax (CGT), withholding tax (WHT) and the risk of creating a taxable...

Programme to challenge tax evasion on a global level under establishment: deputy minister of finance

The programme includes measures to combat base erosion and profit shifting, based on four main measures that can challenge exploitation of tax agreements, monitor developing international tax work rules, and ensure a more transparent environment. Egypt was chosen by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), in a conference...

Mauritius joins global efforts to curb profit shifting by MNEs

In a significant step, Mauritius will soon start automatically sharing of tax information with India and other countries as part of global efforts to curb multinational companies from profit shifting activities. The development also comes months after the island nation, long perceived to be a jurisdiction for alleged illegal fund...

Multilateral Instrument: The new dilemma of foreign investors

MUMBAI: The Multilateral Instrument (MLI), a new global tax avoidance agreement, that is in the process of being signed by 100 countries, is now causing a lot of anxiety among foreign portfolio investors (FPIs). MLI is an agreement put out by OECD, the intergovernmental economic organisation, to stop Base Erosion...

Davos 2017: Oxfam attacks failing global tax avoidance battle

World Economic Forum debate hears how fight to make companies ‘pay their fair share’ is being undermined by race to cut corporation tax rates Efforts to tackle global tax avoidance are being undermined by a “race to the bottom” on corporate tax rates led by Britain and the US, the...

International tax-avoidance rules may override GAAR, other tax treaties

There is a possibility that the General Anti-Avoidance Rules (GAAR, on taxes) and the tax treaties signed by the government with those of Mauritius, Singapore and Cyprus, and even other nations such as Netherlands, could be overtaken by another event. These could, say experts, be partially or fully overridden by...

Global crackdown on tax evasion signals the end of bank secrecy era

Unknown to many Kenyans, Parliament’s passing of Finance Bill, 2016 that granted amnesty to Kenyan residents who have offshore incomes and assets in foreign banks had a very global agenda. The foreign income that is subject to amnesty is for the year ended December 31, 2016 and offers a waiver...

Budget 2017: Tax Reform For Financial Services

Given the recent developments in the Indian economy, the upcoming Union Budget will certainly be critical and important in determining the future outlook of the economy. The financial services industry has been one of the key drivers of growth due to its strong cause and effect relationship with the economy....

The G77 will push for ‘tax justice’ through a UN tax body, says Ecuador’s foreign affairs minister

The creation of a new United Nations tax body to clamp down on tax dodging, which experts say could cost developing countries more than $200 billion a year in missed revenues, will be a key priority of the Group of 77 and China under Ecuadorian leadership, according to the country’s...

India may leave tax treaty with Netherlands unchanged

India is unlikely to amend its tax treaty with the Netherlands as it did with Mauritius, Singapore and Cyprus and this could shape the investment strategy of foreign portfolio investors (FPI) and private equity (PE) funds investing in India, said three people in the know. “There were talks to amend...

Three More Nations Commit To BEPS Minimum Standards

A further three countries have committed to participate in international base erosion and profit shifting discussions and implement minimum standards, under the OECD’s new “inclusive framework” for countries. The OECD confirmed on January 6 that the three territories are: Bermuda, Côte d’Ivoire, and Kazakhstan. This brings the total number 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...

Singapore Goes The Mauritius Route, Loses Right To Tax Equity Capital Gains Arising In India

Starting April 1, 2017, India will have the right to tax capital gains arising on Indian equity shares sold by a Singapore resident. The governments of India and Singapore have amended the double taxation avoidance treaty between the two countries, in line with the changes India recently made to a...

Amendment sought for greater transparency over UK’s offshore tax havens

A parliamentary drive to force greater transparency on the UK’s offshore tax havens is being led by former Commons spending watchdog chairwoman Dame Margaret Hodge and ex-international development secretary Andrew Mitchell. The pair, backed by scores of MPs from across the Commons and supported by an alliance of charities, are...

Mauritius: Joint Statement By The FSC & The FSPA

The Mauritius IFC: Driving Growth in Africa As a jurisdiction of substance, the Mauritius International Financial Centre (Mauritius IFC) has been instrumental in driving quality investments in Africa, leading to sustained growth and prosperity across the continent. It is therefore with deep regret that we take note of the misperceptions...

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...

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...

France’s honest tax system crusader convicted for hiding millions of euros

Jérôme Cahuzac, appointed by Hollande to lead clampdown on wealthy avoiders, hid cash in a secret Swiss account for 20 years Jérôme Cahuzac, the minister who led François Hollande’s drive for a more honest tax system, has been sentenced to three years in prison for tax fraud and secretly stashing...

South Africa Provides FAQs On CRS

The South African Revenue Service (SARS) has released guidance, in a question and answer format, for financial institutions (FIs) seeking to understand the impact of the OECD’s Common Reporting Standard (CRS). The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s CRS obliges countries and jurisdictions to obtain financial information from their FIs...

Is Ireland making unfair tax deals with developing countries?

A new report says little has changed after a number of global tax scandals… Ireland is entering unfair tax deals with developing countries according to a new report on ‘sweetheart deals’ in the EU. Of the 18 countries in the study, Ireland is found to have on average “introduced the...

Switzerland eyes AEOI with 21 countries

Switzerland, which has been working to end its years-long practice of banking secrecy, on Thursday said it aimed to dramatically increase the number of countries it cooperates with toward international fiscal transparency. The Swiss government said in a statement that it wanted to extend the automatic exchange of information (AEOI)...

Taxman targets Real and Barca over fraud, says report

Giants Real Madrid and Barcelona are among five La Liga clubs from whom the Spanish taxman is looking to recover €52 million (RM244 million), online newspaper El Confidencial claimed yesterday. Alongside Atletico Madrid, Sevilla and Valencia, the big two are accused of having avoided tax by paying player’s agents directly....

Switzerland and South Africa sign joint declaration on introduction of AEOI

On 24 November 2016, Switzerland and South Africa signed a joint declaration on the introduction of the automatic exchange of information (AEOI) in tax matters on a reciprocal basis. Both countries intend to start collecting data in accordance with the global AEOI standard in 2018 and to exchange it from...

Belize Financial Regulator Warns Against Fraudulent Bitcoin Investment Company

The financial regulator of Central American nation Belize has issued a public warning against XMAXBIT, a company that claims to provide returns for investors by investing in cryptocurrencies like bitcoin. Published on Monday, the Office of the International Financial Services Commission (IFSC), Belize’s financial regulator, has warned users against dealing...

Federal government moves to stop double taxation, evasion

The Federal Executive Council, FEC, on Wednesday approved a bilateral agreement for the avoidance of double taxation and the prevention of physical evasion of taxes on income and capital benefits between Nigeria and Singapore. The Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun disclosed to State House Correspondents, after the FEC meeting...

Dispute resolution under the Nigerian transfer pricing regime

Background The Federal Inland Revenue Service [FIRS] has begun Transfer Pricing [TP] audits and has been requesting TP documentation and other documents from taxpayers relating to their related party transactions. These actions are in line with its powers under the Income Tax (Transfer Pricing) Regulations No. 1 of 2012 [Regulations]...

To Boost Trade, A Bilateral Tax Treaty Between India And The UK May Be In The Offing

Following British Prime Minister Theresa May’s visit to India last week, Patricia Hewitt, chair of the UK-India Business Council, said that Britain is looking to re-balance its commercial links with countries like India post-Brexit. She suggested that the two governments should look at a bilateral tax treaty to boost trade....