Category: Luxembourg

How Microsoft moves profits offshore to cut its tax bill

Cash doesn’t flow directly from buyers’ pockets to Microsoft’s headquarters in Redmond, Wash. Instead, the company operates through three regional sales units, centered in Ireland, Singapore and Puerto Rico. These groups control the rights to profit from Microsoft products around the world. By conducting sales from places with small populations… – Continue reading

TAXE: Have We Taken the Right Path To Ensure Fairer and More Efficient Taxation in the European Union?

After the LuxLeaks affair in November 2014, the European Parliament established a special committee “on tax rulings and other measures similar in nature or effect” (TAXE) in February 2015. The committee’s report was adopted in a plenary session of the European Parliament on 25 November 2015. The Conference of Presidents… – Continue reading

Royal warrant companies accused of using tax havens and moving their manufacturing out of Britain

Companies like Mappin & Webb have not paid any corporation tax for the past five years, according to the Sunday Times Several companies which hold the much-coveted royal warrant have come under scrutiny after being accused of benefiting from tax havens and moving their manufacturing out of Britain. The warrants… – Continue reading

The Changing Landscape for IP Regimes Around the World

Patent Boxes, Innovation Boxes, Intangible Property Boxes, Knowledge Development Boxes (IP Regimes) – countries may use different names, but all of these regimes are designed to allow a preferential rate of tax to be applied to income generated from intangible property (IP). There are a number of these regimes in… – Continue reading

Worldwide: A Guide To The Top 20 Offshore Fund Locations

There are a variety of benefits to moving offshore, yet few would argue the assertion that tax neutrality is paramount among them. As anyone familiar with the phrase “tax haven” would surely recognize, many countries offer strongly favorable tax terms as an incentive to draw new business. Written by CT… – Continue reading

Beps impact on Ireland? So far, so good

Global corporation tax reform proving good for country As things stand, it would appear that matters are going Ireland’s way insofar as global corporation tax reform is concerned. The country-by-country reporting rules that have been proposed under the OECD’s Beps programme, and that commentators had been focused on in relation… – Continue reading

Removing the obligation to declare payments made by companies to individuals established in Cyprus, Luxembourg and Seychelles.

On October 30, 2015, the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes decided that Cyprus, Luxembourg and Seychelles have actually and substantially implemented the international standard on transparency and exchange of tax information. Therefore, companies no longer have the obligation to declare payments made to persons… – Continue reading

EU adopts new transparency rules

The EU Council has adopted a new transparency directive aimed at preventing corporate tax avoidance The directive, which was proposed by the European Commission (EC), is aimed at improving transparency on tax rulings given by member states to companies about how their taxes are calculated. Under the new directive, member… – Continue reading

Noonan explains Ireland’s stance on CCCTB, code of conduct

Michael Noonan, Ireland’s Finance Minister, underlined Ireland’s position on key international tax issues that were scheduled for discussion at a meeting of the EU’s Economic and Financial Affairs Council (ECOFIN), reports Tax News. Noonan was addressing the Joint Committee on Finance, Public Expenditure, and Reform on December 1, 2015, in… – Continue reading

Call for UK clampdown on territories

An influential UK newspaper has called for Britain to force its Overseas Territories to create a public register of owners of companies. Chris Blackhurst, the group content director of a four-newspaper stable, writing in the London Evening Standard, said: “Only then, once we have put our own house in order,… – Continue reading

Terrorist threat will force countries to tear up EU budget laws

Pierre Gramegna says “challenging and long lasting” impact of the terrorist and refugee crises means countries have “no choice” but to ramp up spending Terrorist attacks are the biggest threat facing the European Union and countries have “no choice” but to tear up budget rules and ramp-up spending in order… – Continue reading

Luxembourg plots to steal London’s financial crown

The tiny nation wants to become “the European location of choice” for global financial services firms, and is already the biggest centre for fund management in the EU, reports the Telegraph. Luxembourg’s finance sector has set out plans to become Europe’s leading financial centre in the next five years, plotting… – Continue reading

France-Luxembourg tax treaty change cannot come into force until 2017

France and Luxembourg failed to ratify a protocol changing the France-Luxembourg double tax treaty by 30 November, which means that a change which will affect real estate structures cannot come into force until 1 January 2017, at the earliest, for companies whose fiscal year is based on a calendar year…. – Continue reading

Luxembourg: EC investigation of tax rulings, issued to US multinational

The European Commission today announced its decision to launch a “state aid” investigation into tax rulings granted by the tax authorities in Luxembourg to a company that is a member of a U.S.-based multinational taxpayer group. Background According to a February 2015 report, in 2008-2009, the group transferred its European… – Continue reading

Swiss bank to pay tax evasion penalty

Switzerland’s EFG Bank is to pay a penalty of $29m to the US Department of Justice to avoid prosecution for helping its American account holders evade taxes. The bank came forward as part of a voluntary programme launched in 2013, which allows Swiss banks to admit their potential role in… – Continue reading

Corporate tax revenues falling- OECD

Corporate tax revenues have been falling across OECD countries since the global economic crisis, putting greater pressure on individual taxpayers to ensure that governments meet financing requirements, according to new data from the OECD’s annual Revenue Statistics publication. Average revenues from corporate incomes and gains fell from 3.6% to 2.8%… – Continue reading

Luxembourg says to appeal against EU tax ruling on Fiat

The Luxembourg government said on Friday that it would appeal against the European Commission’s decision ordering it to recover 20-30 million euros ($22-33 million) of back taxes from Fiat Chrysler. The Commission ruled in October that Fiat had benefited from illegal tax deals with the Luxembourg authorities, as well as… – Continue reading

MEPs seek corporation tax transparency

Members of the European Parliament’s (MEPs) economic and monetary affairs committee (EMAC) have asked the European Commission (EC) to table measures that would include corporation tax transparency, reports Economia. Recommendations were voted on by the EMAC on Tuesday and seek to build on work carried out by the European Parliament’s… – Continue reading

Chris Blackhurst: Britain’s island tax havens need action

Amid all the diplomatic comings and goings on Syria and how to tackle Islamic State, an important but little-noticed high-level gathering has been taking place in London. The Overseas Territories were holding the fourth meeting of their Joint Ministerial Council at Lancaster House. Leaders from Anguilla, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands,… – Continue reading

Offshore Industry Tipped for Growth, Driven by Demand from Emerging Markets, According to OIL Offshore 2020 Report

HONG KONG, Dec. 2, 2015 /PRNewswire — Demand for asset protection, wealth planning and funds by high net worth individuals in Asian countries will drive continued growth in the offshore industry, according to OIL’s sixth “Offshore 2020” annual market research study. OIL, the leader in international incorporations and corporate services… – Continue reading

Bramwell’s Lunch Beat: ‘Cadillac Tax,’ Tax Extenders, BEPS Hearings

Lawmakers seek late deal to scale back ‘Cadillac tax’ Lawmakers are making a late push to repeal or scale back Obamacare’s “Cadillac tax” by the end of the year, eying inclusion of changes in a broader tax package, wrote Peter Sullivan of The Hill. But lawmakers in both parties say… – Continue reading

McDonald’s Investigated for European Tax Evasion

The U.S. multinational will likely be investigated for evading taxes with Luxembourg’s help, following a report by trade unions earlier this year. McDonald’s is under investigation by European Union regulators for illegal tax deals with Luxembourg, according to sources close to the inquiry. The multinational—joining a list of EU tax… – Continue reading

Luxembourg finance minister attacks EU on business tax uncertainty

The European Commission’s use of state aid rules to challenge corporate tax agreements is causing uncertainly for businesses in Europe, Luxembourg finance minister Pierre Gramegna has said. Gramegna told the Financial Times this week that the situation “raises so many issues about predictability and certainty”. The Commission announced in October… – Continue reading

European Union: European Council Approves Transparency Rules For Tax Rulings

Following a directive proposal put forward by the European Commission as part of a package of measures in March, the European Council reached political agreement on a directive amending the text of 2011/16/EU directive on administrative cooperation in the field of taxation. EU member states will be required to automatically… – Continue reading

The Changing Face of Luxembourg Finance

“Luxembourg is famous for two things: its steel industry and its rose cultivation industry”. This quote from an Italian guidebook of the 1930s was uttered by Luxembourg’s Finance Minister Pierre Gramegna at the annual conference of the Luxembourg Directors’ Association on 17 June 2015[1]. The economic outlook of the tiny… – Continue reading

Tax Policy Emerges As New Source of Friction As Europe Seeks Additional Revenue From US Multinationals

The 28 nations of the European Union lose up to $1 trillion per year in revenue thanks to multinational corporations that use a spider’s web of completely legal constructs to lower their taxes. Now, Europe’s law enforcers and lawmakers want to wipe away these intricate tax-avoidance systems. If they have… – Continue reading

EU committee to vote on plans to curb tax avoidance

EU committee to vote on plans to curb tax avoidance EU countries should be compelled to inform other member states in advance of plans to introduce tax initiatives that could affect their own or another country’s effective tax rate, according to a report to be considered by the European Parliament’s… – Continue reading

Doesn’t Look Like Much Has Really Changed At Deutsche Bank

Barely a week goes by without Deutsche Bank featuring in the news for some reason, usually a bad one. This time, it’s tax avoidance. The FT reports that Deutsche Bank “has been devising complex tax avoidance strategies for some of its largest corporate clients”. Not that this is illegal, of… – Continue reading

Apple, Amazon and Microsoft’s mega-million con: How titans of the new economy screw us all on taxes

Tech titans powering the economy shelter money through insane tax-avoidance havens. It’s wrong — and adding up Offshore tax havens enable not only individuals to dodge taxes—they also enable multinational corporations to do so. Often this tax avoidance is done within the letter of the law: multinational groups exploit the… – Continue reading

Clampdown on tax evasion

As Common Reporting Standard (CRS) comes into operation. OHANNESBURG – South Africans with undeclared offshore funds may only have a few months to get their affairs in order or risk facing significant penalties and even criminal prosecution as revenue authorities start the automatic exchange of information. The Common Reporting Standard… – Continue reading

MEPs back corporate tax reforms

The European Parliament has overwhelmingly approved a suite of corporate tax reforms that will ensure multinational companies pay taxes where profits are made and increase transparency. A total of 508 MEPs voted in favour of the adoption of recommendations put forward by the Special Committee on Tax Rulings last month…. – Continue reading

Hong Kong: Offshore Industry Tipped For Growth, Driven By Demand From Emerging Markets, According To Leading Offshore Survey

Greater China, Southeast Asia Seen as Global Leaders in Use of Offshore Vehicles, Drawn by Efficiency & Legal Frameworks Key Highlights: OIL’s sixth annual survey shows: The offshore industry will be a leaner, more resilient and confident member of the global economy by 2020, driven by demand from increasing numbers… – Continue reading

The Amendment to the France-Luxembourg tax treaty will still not be applicable in 2016!

The new provisions of the 4th Amendment to the France/Luxembourg double tax treaty on profits deriving from sale of real estate assets signed on September 5, 2014 will not be applicable in 2016. Currently, the right to tax the capital gains realized by a Luxembourg company upon the transfer of… – Continue reading

Julius Baer’s Meier Says Future for Advice Is Local

Veteran banker says India purchase reflects client demand for onshore private banking advice. Julius Baer’s Asia Pacific head Thomas Meier is preparing to leave Asia after 20 years, but he isn’t leaving Asia behind. The veteran banker, who also worked at Credit Suisse and Deutsche Bank, will continue to oversee… – Continue reading

Interview: how the tax rulings committee came up with plans for a fairer system

Multinationals should pay their taxes where they make their profits, according to one of the recommendations by the tax rulings committee, which were adopted by MEPs on 25 November. Report authors Elisa Ferreira (S&D, Portugal) and Michael Theurer (ALDE, Germany) told us it had been difficult for the committee to… – Continue reading


The Italian Supreme Court overturned decisions of lower courts to conclude that two renowned Italian fashion designers were not guilty of tax evasion. The designers, however, could still be subject to civil penalties of about €343.3 million. BACKGROUND The designers had set up Luxembourg companies, to which they had transferred… – Continue reading

Preferential multinational tax agreements under fire – European Parliament

A European Parliamentary debate this afternoon discussed measures that would lead to the curtailing of tax evasion and avoidance. A debate was sparked last year when it was revealed that Luxembourg had struck preferential multi-billion dollar tax deals with some of the world’s largest multinational corporations. This debate has been… – Continue reading

The offshore financial industry shows resilience as demand stays robust

The offshore industry is poised for growth, as the industry insiders see the demand for offshore financial and corporate services likely to increase in the coming years, according to an industry survey conducted by OIL, a corporate service provider specializing in international incorporations. The industry has been battling negative perceptions… – Continue reading

The offshore financial industry shows resilience as demand stays robust

The offshore industry is poised for growth, as the industry insiders see the demand for offshore financial and corporate services likely to increase in the coming years, according to an industry survey conducted by OIL, a corporate service provider specializing in international incorporations. The industry has been battling negative perceptions… – Continue reading

DDM Holding AG: Swiss withholding tax applies in respect of interest payments to holders of the DDM Senior Secured Notes

Following a ruling by the Swiss Federal Tax Administration, payments of interest under the DDM Treasury SEK 300 million Senior Secured Notes with ISIN SE0005280831 (the “Notes”) are subject to Swiss withholding tax since the refinancing executed in June 2015. On 23 June 2015 certain amendments to the documentation in… – Continue reading


A pending Protocol, that would amend the income tax treaty between Luxembourg and France, may not be effective until 2017. RATIFICATION PENDING The Luxembourg Parliament passed a bill to ratify the fourth Protocol to the income tax treaty (1958) between Luxembourg and France. However, it currently appears that the ratification… – Continue reading

More Banks Spill Tax Evasion Secrets To Avoid Criminal Charges, Account Holders Beware

Lately, the IRS is warning offshore account holders to disclose before it’s too late. Under FATCA, banks everywhere want to know if you are compliant with the IRS. And the cost of compliance for many people is growing. The IRS updated its list of foreign banks where accounts trigger a… – Continue reading

Clock Ticking for U.S. Holdouts as BNP Joins Swiss Tax Pact

The clock is ticking for American tax dodgers around the world after BNP Paribas SA’s Swiss unit and two other banks joined a U.S. program to avoid prosecution, revealing the exact methods of Swiss bankers’ legendary discretion. BNP agreed to pay $59.8 million in a program that has brought in… – Continue reading

Malta and Caraçao agree tax treaty

The governments of Malta and the Caribbean island of Caraçao have signed a treaty, which both sides say will prevent tax evasion and the double taxation of companies operating in both jurisdictions. In line with internationally agreed standards, Malta’s finance minister Edward Scicluna and his counterpart from Caraçuo Jose Jardim… – Continue reading

Crackdown on Caribbean tax havens a surprise boon for Hong Kong

Hong Kong is tipped to become the world’s largest offshore corporate services centre by 2020, helped ironically, by the industry’s own struggles against reform demands coming from western governments and pressure groups. On notice after high profile money laundering and tax avoidance scandals, traditional offshore havens like the British Virgin… – Continue reading

Yle programme: Finnish corporations cold-shoulder EU anti-tax planning efforts

Finnish companies continue to take advantage of legal tax planning to shelter their profits from taxation. According to Yle’s Ajankohtainen kakkonen current affairs programme, state-owned firms are among those that have been dragging their feet on reporting income from their foreign subsidiaries. The European Union is making an effort to… – 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