Category: Germany

German economics minister sees SMEs as “secret weapon”: report

German Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy Peter Altmaier had developed a strategy for the “Mittelstand” or small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), the newspaper Handelsblatt reported on Wednesday. “In the eyes of foreigners, SMEs are Germany’s secret weapon and, unlike the Dax 30 companies, SMEs are proving to be extremely… – Continue reading

Chief of the economy for tax cuts

The head of the economic experts, Christoph Schmidt, has spoken out for tax cuts. “Other countries such as the United States have reduced business taxes. Germany has fallen back in the international tax competition,” said Schmidt of the German press Agency in Berlin. The tax burden had increased in the… – Continue reading

Tax authorities mount raids on 19 German banks and houses

Investigation is linked to Panama Papers and part of money laundering allegations Eleven banks and eight private homes and offices across Germany have been raided by police and tax investigators as part of a wide-ranging investigation into tax evasion. The raids, which began at dawn on Wednesday and went on… – Continue reading

German gov’ts to have less-than-expected tax revenue in coming years

BERLIN, May 9 (Xinhua) — According to current tax estimates, the German federal, state and local governments will have 124.3 billion euros (139.5 billion U.S. dollars) less to spend by 2023 than previously predicted, the Federal Ministry of Finance announced on Thursday. According to the German finance ministry, expectations about… – Continue reading

Africa’s problem with tax avoidance

Every year African countries lose at least $50 million in taxes — more than the amount of foreign development aid. So where is it all going and how can multinational companies be held to account? NGOs continue to raise the alarm. African countries are being cheated out of billions in… – Continue reading

Ikea Being Investigated for Dodging Taxes of More than $1.1 Billion

According to a Green party report in the European Parliament, Ikea has been accused of tax dodging for as much as 1 billion euros or $1.1 billion in its taxes from 2009 to 2014. The political organization has accused the retailer of a large scale avoidance of taxes. In the… – Continue reading

BankThink AML enforcement needs more whistleblowers

In recent weeks, major anti-money-laundering enforcement actions have highlighted the critical role of whistleblowers in government efforts to curb illegal movement of funds. The German raids of Deutsche Bank, U.S. indictments of three employees and a client of Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca, and an earlier Danske Bank money-laundering investigation… – Continue reading

Is this the end of the road for the EU’s digital services tax?

Ireland, Sweden, Denmark and Germany block digital services tax plan in Brussels. The spectre of a 3pc digital services tax (DST) levied by the EU against multinationals has been vanquished for now after Ireland, Sweden, Denmark and Germany joined forces in what is being heralded as a coup for diplomacy…. – Continue reading

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’… – Continue reading

Germany urges global minimum tax for digital giants

FRANKFURT AM MAIN: German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz in an interview said he backed a global minimum fiscal regime for multinationals as Europe looks to levy tax notably on US tech giants. “We need a minumum tax rate valid globally which no state can get out of (applying),” Scholz, a… – Continue reading

German companies unconvinced by Brexit tax reduction promises: study

BERLIN, Sept. 27 (Xinhua) — German companies are highly sceptical that the British government can deliver on a promise to attract more business to Britain by lowering taxes after Brexit, a study published on Thursday by the Foundation for Family Business in Germany and Europe found. According to the study,… – Continue reading

Which Countries is The Cryptocurrency Taxed In?

The cryptocurrency industry is still at a very early stage of its development, so there are no single international rules yet. The governments of individual countries independently try to regulate digital assets. The tax on the cryptocurrency varies in different countries. Within the framework of this article, we will try… – Continue reading

Australian Government planning on digitally taxing Google and Facebook

The Australian federal government has proposed a tax on digital advertising that could raise up to $200 million each year but could have serious consequences for corporate Australia. Scott Morrison, Australia treasurer, mentioned in his budget speech that the $7 billion in sales from Australians to United States owned media… – Continue reading

Swiss Come Clean Amid Data Swaps

Switzerland’s abandonment of banking secrecy for international tax dodgers is having an unexpected side effect at home: more domestic tax cheats with accounts around Europe are coming forward. If 2017 was the glide path for Switzerland’s international data-swapping agreements, this year means business: Swiss banks must automatically share client data… – Continue reading

US tax reform breaks global rules, EU says

European finance ministers are worried. They say the United States’ big tax reform bill contains measures that would unfairly disadvantage European business and contravene global fair-taxation rules. Are they right? Last week, the finance ministers of Europe’s five biggest economies — Germany, France, the UK, Spain and Italy — wrote… – Continue reading

Investigators raid VW offices as tax fraud suspicion lingers

Prosecutors and investigators from tax authorities have raided the offices of several senior officials from German carmaker Volkswagen. The move was part of an effort to scrutinize the firm in a tax evasion probe. Investigators on Tuesday night searched the offices of VW finance chief Frank Witter and human resources… – Continue reading

EU eyes corporate rules shake-up with law on seat transfer

The European Commission is preparing a new directive on the cross-border transfer of company headquarters, a move that could have far-reaching implications for other areas of corporate governance, including tax planning and cross-border mergers, EURACTIV has learned. With Brexit on the horizon, UK companies are busy weighing their options for… – Continue reading

Eurozone’s big four demand measures against tax avoidance

The four biggest economies in the Eurozone – Germany, France, Italy, and Spain — demand an end to the erosion of their tax base by means of incorporation in states that facilitate tax avoidance. According to the Financial Times, Bruno Le Maire, Wolfgang Schaeuble, Pier-Carlo Padoan, and Luis de Guindos,… – Continue reading

Germany’s Schaeuble Defends Resistance to EU Public Tax Reporting

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble defended his opposition to pending European Union legislation that would force large multinational companies to publicly disclose, on a country-by-country basis, their taxes paid and profits. Schauble, who testified before the EU Parliament’s Panama Papers investigative committee July 11, said public reporting of companies’ tax… – Continue reading

Row Ignites After Germany Slams ‘Tax Haven’ Malta

Norbert Walter-Borjans has been busy turning himself into the public scourge of German tax cheats and foreign tax havens. Having already riled Switzerland by buying CDs with stolen bank account data – and then accusing the Alpine state of spying on his tax offices – North Rhine-Westphalia’s finance minister criticized… – Continue reading

Data leak reveals details of 70,000 offshore firms in Malta, German state minister claims

Malta denies claims A data leak has revealed information about 70,000 offshore companies in Malta, a German state minister claimed this morning. North Rhine-Westphalia finance minister Norbert Walter-Borjans said the data also included information about several German corporations and up to 2,000 German taxpayers. Tax authorities in the city of… – Continue reading

License barrier as of January 2018: Limited tax deductibility for cross license order royalty payments to foreign related parties

Germany will introduce “license barrier rules” as of January 2018. The new rules will limit the tax deductibility of license fees or royalty payments to foreign related parties that benefit from preferential regimes (“Patent Box”, “IP-Box”, “License Box”) which are incompatible with the “OECD nexus approach” (“unqualified preferential regimes”) (sec…. – Continue reading

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… – Continue reading

Germany Provides Update On 10-Point Tax Evasion Plan

The German Ministry of Finance has published a progress report on its 10-point plan to combat tax evasion, which was first announced in the wake of last year’s Panama Papers leak. The plan, launched on April 12, 2016, outlines the measures that Germany wants to put in place at domestic… – Continue reading

[News Focus] Multinational firms using royalties to avoid tax: expert

Multinational firms in South Korea tend to transfer much higher proportions of their revenues to their headquarters overseas in dividends and royalties than their Korean counterparts, an expert said Monday. Payments in royalties and dividends are categorized as expenses, which in turn lowers their reported earnings to the Korean authorities…. – Continue reading

Germany: Legislative proposal in reaction to Panama Papers

As a reaction to the so-called “Panama Papers” the German legislator proposed, on 30 December 2016, a draft bill to combat tax avoidance (so-called Steuerumgehungsbekämpfungsgesetz – StUmgBG). The aim of the draft bill is to enhance the German tax authorities’ means to determine and reveal EU-foreign domicile company structures which… – Continue reading

Global transfer pricing standards with local impacts

THE ORGANISATION for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) initiated the base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS) project in 2013 to address perceived gaps in international tax rules causing a loss of revenues for governments of about US$100 billion to $240 billion (Bt3.5 trillion to Bt8.4 trillion) annually. The OECD’s BEPS… – Continue reading

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… – Continue reading

President Trump eyes border tax on Mexico, China and Germany

The Trump White House favours a “flexible” border adjustment tax targeting countries with which the United States runs big trade deficits, including Mexico, China and Germany, the President’s top trade and industry adviser said. Peter Navarro, a sceptic of free trade, wants the US to entice advanced manufacturing production onshore… – Continue reading

BDI lobby group opposes end of ‘patent box’ tax breaks

Germany’s BDI industry group has come out against a government plan to unilaterally close so-called ‘patent box’ tax loopholes used by foreign companies to avoid paying full taxes on profits earned in Germany. The Association of German Industrialists, BDI, said Tuesday that the government’s unilateral move would send a negative… – Continue reading

BEPS – Germany on the way to limit the tax deductibility of royalties

A new legislative approach of the German tax authorities leaked last December 19 will have a significant impact on the tax deductibility of royalties owed to related persons being subject to a preferential back end tax regime for IP not being in compliance with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and… – Continue reading

German Multinationals Fear Disclosure of Global Tax Reports

Multinational companies headquartered in Germany worry that when they report their global tax and profits for 2016, some countries will leak their country-by-country reports to the press. German parents of multinational groups with annual consolidated group revenue of at least 750 million euros ($797 million) are required to file, with… – Continue reading

Austria: Ministry Of Finance Issues Guidance On The Alienation Of A Partnership Stake In A Trilateral Setting

On 29 October 2016, the Austrian Ministry of Finance provided interesting guidance on the tax consequences of an alienation of a participation in a Hungarian partner- ship by an Austrian partnership consisting of German partners. The case revolved around an operative Austrian partnership (GmbH & Co KG) with German resident… – Continue reading

Britain may become tax haven after hard Brexit, Hammond says

British chancellor Philip Hammond has infuriated German politicians for implying a “hard” Brexit would see London adopt a new role as a tax haven before the gates of the EU. Driving speculation ahead of Tuesday’s Brexit address by prime minister Teresa May, Mr Hammond said he preferred seeing Britain remain… – Continue reading

Hammond threatens EU with aggressive tax changes after Brexit

Chancellor tells German newspaper if Britain were closed off from markets it may abandon European-style social model The chancellor, Philip Hammond, has suggested Britain could transform its economic model into that of a corporate tax haven if the EU fails to provide it with an agreement on market access after… – Continue reading

Juncker accused of blocking EU efforts against tax avoidance

Jean-Claude Juncker deliberately blocked the EU’s efforts to fight tax avoidance while in office as prime minister of Luxembourg, according to documents revealed by The Guardian and the International Consortium of Journalists. EurActiv France reports. Member states have supposedly spent the last two decades cooperating in the committee on business… – Continue reading

German Government Targets Offshore Tax Avoidance

The German Government has adopted draft anti-avoidance legislation intended to make it more difficult for domestic taxpayers to avoid tax through the use of “mailbox companies in tax havens.” The draft bill, approved by the Cabinet on December 21, contains more stringent reporting obligations for German taxpayers with foreign financial… – Continue reading

UK opposes planned US dividend tax for offshore investors

The US government is facing calls to delay the introduction of a new tax on foreign investors in US equity-linked derivative transactions, after the G5 group of countries signalled their opposition and the US Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA) indicated its members would not be ready for the… – Continue reading

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… – Continue reading