Category: Europe

Central Bank Official: Oecd Tried To ‘Hobble’ Permanent Residency

A top Central Bank official has accused the OECD of trying to “hobble” the competitiveness of The Bahamas’ economic permanent residency regime by including it in an arbitrary “quasi-blacklist”. Charles Littrell, the regulator’s inspector of banks and trust companies, in a speech to a Turks & Caicos financial services conference,...

Cayman drafts law requiring substance tests for offshore businesses

The Cayman Islands government has published draft tax legislation that will have far-reaching impact for the offshore finance industry operating in the jurisdiction by demanding that certain Cayman-registered companies have an adequate level of economic substance locally. The International Tax Co-operation (Economic Substance) Bill 2018 introduces a substance test for...

FBR drags feet over action on untaxed offshore investment

KARACHI: The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) is dragging its feet over actions against Pakistanis who couldn’t declare offshore investments to evade taxes despite that the tax authority has stumbled upon critical financial data under an international treaty, people familiar with the matter said on Tuesday. Insiders said the apex...

Report: £250 billion fraud in UK tax havens greater sum than 20 years of foreign aid budget

Russia most common place of origin for fraudsters using British overseas territories A NEW report has identified over £250 billion in fraudulent funds directed through UK tax havens, more than over 20 years of the UK Government’s foreign aid budget. The report, by Transparency International, examined the UK’s overseas territories,...

Switzerland: Revised Swiss Corporate Tax Reform Will Keep Switzerland A Top Corporate Location

I. The background of the tax reform In connection with the international pressure on the Swiss corporate tax location, especially in relation to the Cantonal exemption of income for holding companies as well as the status privileged companies (“status privilege”) and the need of Switzerland to recover global recognition as...

EU finance ministers need to deliver: Digital companies must pay tax

When European finance ministers meet on Tuesday (4 December), they should swiftly adopt the digital service tax: a levy on turnover for very large digital firms such as Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon, Booking and Spotify, write Udo Bullmann and Paul Tang. Udo Bullmann is president of the Socialist and Democrats...

Tax transparency watchdog urges Israel to step up moves against money laundering

After global index puts Israel in top third of most financially secretive countries, NGO calls for more public scrutiny and regulations to stop rich from hiding their assets Israel must immediately move to pass regulations against tax evasion and money laundering if it is to protect its credit rating and...

Worldwide: UK Tax Round Up – November 2018

General UK Tax Developments Finance Bill The Finance (No 3) Bill 2018-19 (which will become the Finance Act 2019) was published on 7 November and includes legislation to enact the changes highlighted in our UK Budget blog post ( UK Budget Blog). Another key area covered by the Finance Bill...

Ireland, Malta Close ‘Single Malt’ Tax Avoidance Structure

Ireland and Malta have agreed to close the “Single Malt” – an aggressive tax planning structure in which some multinational corporations use a company incorporated in Ireland but tax-resident in Malta. The Competent Authority Agreement – entered into as per the provisions of Article 24 (mutual agreement procedure) of the...

UK lawmakers seek removal of 12-year offshore investigation limit

Britain’s parliamentary upper house has requested the current investigation limit set out in the Draft Finance Bill 2018 be scrapped. The House of Lords’ request to HMRC would, if passed, remove the 12-year offshore investigation limit from the Draft Finance Bill 2018 – a proposal that has seen an outcry...

Switzerland: The Brazil And Switzerland Double Tax Treaty: Why Is It So Significant?

Background The Brazilian and Swiss Governments signed a Double Tax Treaty (DTT) on 3 May 2018. Switzerland is one of the biggest investors in the Brazilian market and Brazil and Switzerland have already signed an Automatic Exchange of Information Agreement, which came into force on 1 January 2018. This new...

Cyprus: Entry Into Force Of The Protocol Amending The Convention On The Avoidance Of Double Taxation Between Cyprus And Mauritius

The Cyprus Tax Department has announced that the procedures for ratification of the protocol dated 23 October 2017 amending the Convention on the Avoidance of Double Taxation between Cyprus and Mauritius have been completed, and the protocol entered into force on 2 May 2018. The protocol replaces text of article...

Spanish Crypto Holders Under Scrutiny as Authorities Seek to Prevent Tax Fraud

The Spanish Ministry of Finance is to inspect some 15,000 individuals who have engaged in cryptocurrency transactions over the last year, Spanish-language news outlet El Pais reported. The announcement follows on from the introduction of compulsory reporting of cryptocurrency transactions for Spanish taxpayers, and will investigate whether there is any...

Post Panama Papers: are English trusts still trusted?

Trusts still remain under public scrutiny, but can their reputation be safeguarded, asks Stuart Price A recent government consultation on the law of trusts brought out some interesting issues concerning how the status quo aligns with the principles of transparency, fairness and simplicity (the principles that, at least in the...

Corporate America flees zero-tax Caribbean havens after crackdown

Many U.S. multinational corporations have packed up or are choosing to open subsidiaries in low-tax, rather than no-tax, countries that are seen as more legitimate than the formerly popular island destinations of the Cayman Islands and the Bahamas. They’re fleeing in response to regulations from the European Union that require...

HMRC targets wealthy families with trusts

Changes to Britain’s centuries-old trust regime are looming as HMRC is concerned that trusts are letting some families pay less inheritance tax than those who do not pay accountants to set up the complex arrangements. To look at if the law should be changed, HMRC has published wide-ranging research of...

Ministers meet with EU, OECD to discuss ending tax watchlist

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, K. Peter Turnquest, led a delegation to Brussels and Paris this week, for frank discussions with high-ranking officials within the European Commission and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) on The Bahamas’ compliance with international standards on tax governance. The meetings...

Bahamas Developers Blast Oecd’s ‘Cynical’ Targeting

Bahamas-based developers have blasted the OECD’s “cynical” attempt to “”de-legitimise” this nation’s key investment product by suggesting it threatens the global fight against tax evasion. The newly-formed Bahamas Developers Association (BDA), in a recent statement, argued that the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) was wrong to list this...

Jersey puts forth economic substance legislation

Jersey has tabled new laws to address the EU’s concerns over ‘economic substance’, the degree of real business activity carried out by companies registered in the Island. The new proposed requirements for an economic substance test for Jersey tax-resident entities have been published and are set to come into force...

Creditsafe pays £1m to HMRC under ‘Diverted Profits Tax’

Caerphilly-based credit referencing company Creditsafe has paid Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs almost £1 million after it was served with a ‘Diverted Profits Tax’ charge. Registered as Creditsafe Business Solutions, the company, based at Caerphilly Business Park, sells business data for credit check purposes and other uses. According to full...

PenSam to step up scrutiny of partners as €55bn tax scandal unfolds

The head of one of Denmark’s biggest pension funds has spoken out to condemn a wide-scale tax fraud uncovered by a media investigation. Danish national broadcaster DR, newspaper Politiken and other European media outlets in the last three months have published articles detailing a withholding tax scam – dubbed ‘Cum-Ex’...

Ireland Implements New Exit Tax Regime

Ireland’s 2018 Finance Bill legislates for a new exit tax regime compliant with the EU’s Anti-Tax Avoidance Directive. The exit tax charge was introduced via financial resolution on Budget night, October 9, 2018, and applies to certain events occurring on or after October 10. Finance Bill 2018 formally legislates for...

Malta’s residency, citizenship schemes ‘pose high-risk to integrity of Common Reporting Standard’

The Organisation for Economic and Social Development named and shamed 22 countries out of over 100 it studied that have either residency or citizenship programmes, for having lax rules that potentially pose high-risk to the integrity of Common Reporting Standard’. Malta, which has long cited the OECD’s endorsement of its...

Cyprus: Approach Of Greek Authorities In Determining A Valid Foreign Proof Of Tax Residence

In Greece, an individual who has moved abroad must file an application to the local authorities in order to demonstrate a new address should they wish to change their status from resident to non-tax resident. Such an application is typically filed by March 10th of the year following the year...

Cryptocurrencies Could Emerge As Top Save Haven For Chinese Investors Amidst Govt Crackdown

The Chinese government has decided to tight policies that target investors in the country and that hold their wealth overseas with the intention to avoid paying taxes. However, these investors that are now threatened by the government might move to cryptocurrencies and avoid being investigated by Chinese authorities. Most of...

With a view to curb black money, India signs pact with Liechtenstein for account information swap

After Switzerland, Liechtenstein has also signed an agreement with India for Automatic Exchange of Financial Account Information, official sources here said. The agreement was signed in Vaduz on October 11. India sees Liechtenstein as an important partner in fighting overseas black money and is hoping the agreement will help it...

Among wider reforms, Bahamas pledges to enact beneficial ownership bill by year-end

The Bahamas has drafted new legislation to ensure the jurisdiction achieves the right balance of business, economic sustainability, and compliance with international standards. Uppermost among the Bahamas’ priorities include compliance with the OECD and EU criteria on tax governance which has led to the Bahamas implementing sweeping changes to the...

Buhari Signs Executive Order 8 on Offshore Money Laundering

President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday in Abuja signed executive order eight, tagged Voluntary Offshore Assets Regularization Scheme (VOARS) to make money laundering and tax evasion difficult. Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, in a statement last night, said Executive Order 008, which was...

Tax havens refuse cooperation with Pakistan

Pakistan has been unable to get much cooperation from 11 countries known as tax havens around the world to share information on offshore wealth amid a global clampdown on tax evasion. Under the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development’s (OECD) new automatic exchange of information programme, effective since September 1,...

Bahamas ‘Must Address’ Beneficial Owner Access

The deputy prime minister has reiterated that The Bahamas “must address” access to beneficial ownership information for all corporate entities domiciled in this jurisdiction. KP Turnquest said the Government was looking to the Register of Beneficial Owners Bill 2018 as the solution, although beneficial ownership will not be publicly available....

Bahamas Meets Tax Exchange Deadlines

The ministry of finance last night said The Bahamas had met the September 30 deadline to begin automatic tax information exchange (AEOI) with some 35 partner jurisdictions. Revealing that the first such exchange with another country had already occurred, the ministry said this further demonstrated The Bahamas’ commitment to meet...

Tax amnesty ends for undeclared EU assets

The automatic exchange of information between Switzerland and the European Union came into effect on Monday. Owning property abroad without declaring it will no longer be possible. The deadline of September 30 ended the possibility of coming forward voluntarily, reported Swiss public television, RTS, on Sunday. For latecomers who have...

UK court refuses to extradite former Trust Bank owner to Russia

Magistrates’ Court ruled that Ilya Yurov persecution was politically motivated because of his connections with Khodorkovsky. Westminster Magistrates’ Court refused to extradite Ilya Yurov, the former part owner of Trust Bank, who is on the international wanted list, RBC reported. The court believes that the extradition would violate human rights....