Category: Lebanon

Bankers in Lebanon cry foul over ‘double taxation,’ look to President

BEIRUT: The Association of Banks in Lebanon and other private sector leaders are weighing the few options open to them as recently approved new tax measures, poised to be implemented soon, threaten to have a detrimental effect on their businesses and the overall economy. The few available options include trying… – Continue reading

Lebanon Joins OECD’s Multilateral Tax Pact

Lebanon became the 111th jurisdiction to sign the Multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters on May 12, 2017. The OECD describes the Convention as the most powerful instrument for international tax cooperation. It provides for all forms of administrative assistance in tax matters: exchange of information on… – Continue reading

Armenia eliminates double taxation of property and income with Serbia and Slovakia

The Armenian Parliament has ratified today two agreements to avoid double taxation and prevent tax evasion with respect to taxes on property and income with Serbia and Slovakia. According to Deputy Minister of Finance Armen Hayrapetyan, the document on the mutual avoidance of double taxation on property and income with… – Continue reading

The rich are getting more secretive with their money

You might think the Panama Papers leak would cause the ultrarich to seek more transparent tax havens. Not so, according to Jordan Greenaway, a consultant based in London who caters to the ultrawealthy. Instead, they are going further underground, seeking walled-up havens such as the Marshall Islands, Lebanon, and Antigua,… – Continue reading

OECD to report on countries’ non-compliance in tax transparency

At the recent G20 meeting in China, finance ministers stressed their support for greater tax transparency, calling for a report from the OECD on the implementation of automatic exchange of information before the end of the year, and stating that by July 2017 it wants a list of non-compliant jurisdictions… – Continue reading

Global Tax Update – June 2016

Asia Pacific The January – March edition of tax highlights for the Asia Pacific region highlights industry developments from Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia and Singapore including: Australia’s new tax system for Managed Investment Trusts The final stage of China’s B2V reform to be rolled out from… – Continue reading

Panama Papers : Panama commits to automatic exchange of tax data

Global economic body OECD today said Panama, along with few other jurisdictions, has committed to the internationally accepted norm of “automatic” sharing of financial and tax data with other countries, a development coming in the backdrop of the ‘Panama Papers’ offshore assets leaks where at least 500 Indian names have… – Continue reading

The biggest loophole of all

Having launched and led the battle against offshore tax evasion, America is now part of the problem DEVIN NUNES raised eyebrows in 2013 when, as chairman of a congressional working group on tax, he urged reforms that would make America “the largest tax haven in human history”. Though he was… – Continue reading

Saudi Arabia third in global ranking for tax payment ease

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia has maintained third in the global ranking for ease of tax payment, according to the latest release of the Paying Taxes report by the World Bank and PwC. With the least demanding tax framework, well below the world average, the Kingdom has a total tax rate of… – Continue reading

Hervé Falciani — The SwissLeaks Whistleblower

Most people with undisclosed Swiss bank accounts have, by definition, something to hide. Secrets, however, sometimes don’t remain secret, especially when they involve someone else’s money. While disclosing the names and financial details of Swiss bank account holders has recently come into vogue, a whistleblower may have just as murky… – Continue reading

Lebanese banking unaffected by money laundering fight: Torbey

BEIRUT: Lebanon’s commitment to fighting money laundering does not hurt banking secrecy but, to the contrary, is in the interests of the banking sector, said Joseph Torbey, president of the Association of Banks in Lebanon. “Lebanon’s serious commitment to fighting money laundering will prevent the escape of investments from Lebanon… – Continue reading

HSBC whistleblower given five years’ jail

World Bulletin / News Desk Herve Falciani, the former HSBC employee whose disclosures uncorked the “Swissleaks” scandal on bank-supported tax evasion, was sentenced in absentia on Friday to five years in prison, Switzerland’s ATS news agency said. Falciani, who worked as an IT specialist with HSBC, was convicted of industrial… – Continue reading

Top tax havens for the rich

Offshore tax havens came under fire after the global financial crisis in 2008. Front and center among the countries calling for transparency was the U.S., which made a stand against Switzerland in particular, by demanding release of the names of ultra-rich account holders. So it might surprise you to learn… – Continue reading

Ghana weak laws offer 67% tendency for illicit financial flows

Ghana’s financial secrecy – the tendency to facilitate tax evasion, money laundering and illicit financial transfers – has been rated at a fairly high 67 per cent. The Tax Justice Network, an organisation concerned with tax havens and tax evasion, ranked Ghana 48th out of 92 territories, in its 2015… – Continue reading

Hong Kong second worst in financial transparency, says survey

Hong Kong is the world’s second least transparent financial center, making it vulnerable to tax evasion, money laundering and other wrongdoing. It is topped only by Switzerland in a global survey by Tax Justice Network, a coalition of researchers and activists focused on tax avoidance issues. The United States ranks… – Continue reading

US overtakes Caymans and Singapore as haven for assets of super-rich

The US has overtaken Singapore, Luxembourg and the Cayman Islands as an attractive haven for super-rich individuals and businesses looking to shelter assets behind a veil of secrecy, according to a study by the Tax Justice Network (TJN), reports The Guardian. The US is ranked third, behind Switzerland and Hong… – Continue reading

Liberia amongst top countries operating in financial secrecy

In a report leased by the international group Financial Secrecy, the group that carries out analysis of how far the legal systems of countries facilitate financial secrecy, Liberia is ranked amongst the top 30 countries in the world that deals in secrecy. While the Government of Liberia continues to boast… – Continue reading

Swissleaks leaker skips Swiss trial, again

GENEVA – A former HSBC employee who leaked documents alleging the bank helped clients evade millions of dollars in taxes failed again to show up for his Swiss trial Monday, which opened in his absence. Herve Falciani, a 43-year-old French-Italian national who exposed the so-called Swissleaks scandal, has repeatedly said… – Continue reading

Reports finds U.S. financial secrecy worsening

WASHINGTON—The United States is one of the world’s most secret financial jurisdictions, according to a watchdog group’s new global ranking. The Tax Justice Network, an international think tank based in the United Kingdom, on Monday unveiled the 2015 Tax Secrecy Index, which lists the countries that most allow financial secrecy… – Continue reading

HSBC Nemesis Falciani Mocks Swiss Justice a Mile From Border

Herve Falciani, the Frenchman wanted on charges of industrial espionage in Switzerland, has opted to skip his trial at the country’s top court and instead plead his case before a jury of journalists at a French hotel, less than a mile from the Swiss border. The Frenchman was the star… – Continue reading

U.S. Chases Swiss Bank Secrets to Singapore and Israel

Dozens of banks signed amnesty agreements disclosing tactics, providing prosecutors with valuable information At a rate of one or two a week, Swiss banks are doing what was once unthinkable: revealing to the world how they helped wealthy Americans cheat on their taxes. Once bastions of secrecy, 41 Swiss banks… – Continue reading

FATCA – Which Countries Are In And Out

FATCA – Which Countries Are In And Out The controversial US Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) law is set to start from July 1, 2014, so with less than 21 days to go, here’s a look at which countries are in and who is outside of the tax network…. – Continue reading

Tough road ahead for Lebanon’s banks

In its report issued in May 2015, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) warned against the exceptional risks and challenges facing Lebanon as a result of several political and security factors both at the domestic and foreign levels. These challenges also result from worrying economic factors in terms of growth, the… – Continue reading

Axact scam: FIA unearths Shoaib Shaikh’s seven offshore companies

KARACHI: The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has, during its probe into the Axact scandal, unearthed seven offshore companies that were being run by Shoaib Shaikh. According to FIA sources, the agency during the forensic inspection of the data retrieved from Axact’s computers seized by the authorities earlier has ascertained that… – Continue reading

Swiss banker: era of banking secrecy is officially over

A leading Swiss banker told his Lebanese counterparts that the days of banking secrecy are over, urging the lenders to prepare their clients for this inevitable outcome. “The banks which attracted tax evaders can no longer continue in this pattern because the era of banking secrecy is over and an… – Continue reading

Banking secrecy to remain despite FATCA

BEIRUT: There is no threat to Lebanon’s banking secrecy, despite the mounting pressure from the international community to disclose the accounts of Lebanese with dual passports, bankers said. “The United States and some European countries, which are seeking the full cooperation of other states in disclosing the bank accounts of… – Continue reading

Lebanese Offshore Companies: Why it is so difficult to open a bank account in Lebanon?

Beirut, November 17, 2014: All-inclusive offshore solutions provider ‘Lebanon Offshore’ and auditing and consulting firm ‘Majzoub & Partners CPAs-Nexia International’ organized a conference titled “Why is it so difficult for Lebanese offshore companies to open a bank account in Lebanon?” on November 14, 2014 in Badaro, Beirut. Attended by a… – Continue reading

California contractor gets prison in tax case

SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) — A Southern California military contractor who failed to report millions earned from providing services in Iraq has been sentenced to four years in federal prison. Prosecutors say Nadim Saifan Jr. of Huntington Beach was sentenced Friday. He pleaded guilty in May to attempted tax evasion…. – Continue reading

European states may bring in their own version of FATCA

BEIRUT: Some bankers have said that European states are expected to follow the example of the United States and ask their citizens abroad to disclose their bank accounts to European financial authorities in a bid to combat tax evasion. “It’s not official yet but we expect some European countries to adopt similar… – Continue reading