Category: North America

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...

Government Breaking Down ‘Offshore’ Banking Divide

The Government yesterday broke down the divide between Bahamian domestic and international financial institutions to meet European Union (EU) demands. KP Turnquest, the Deputy Prime Minister, in unveiling a radical regulatory shift said the Government will “make the playing field level for all financial institutions in The Bahamas” by enabling...

IRS gives foreign banks a break in Trump tax law’s new levy

The Internal Revenue Service is giving foreign-based banks with U.S. operations some leeway when calculating a major new international tax aimed at preventing global companies from shifting profits abroad. Multinationals often transfer payments, such as interest or royalties, to their affiliates in low-tax jurisdictions to maximize deductions and minimize tax...

US DOJ charges four in ‘Panama Papers’ case

The United States Department of Justice has charged four people with crimes allegedly brought to light by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalism’s Panama Papers expose, according to a DOJ announcement published earlier this month. They are the first US criminal charges stemming from the ICIJ’s 2016 investigation, which reported...

Vistra study: VI second-most important global financial jurisdiction

The Virgin Islands ranked as the second-most-important financial jurisdiction in the world in a recent study published by Vistra, a corporate services provider. The research — titled the “Vistra 2020 Report” — evaluated insight from more than 800 financial services industry professionals around the globe, according to the company. Published...

Argentina, Panama, Paraguay and Uruguay to share tax information with each other

The governments of Argentina, Panama, Paraguay and Uruguay have joined forces to create a Latin American initiative to tackle tax evasion and corruption by making sharing and making better use of the information exchanged under international tax transparency standards. The countries have agreed to “consider the possibility” of making a...

Argentina, Panama, Paraguay and Uruguay to share tax information with each other

The governments of Argentina, Panama, Paraguay and Uruguay have joined forces to create a Latin American initiative to tackle tax evasion and corruption by making sharing and making better use of the information exchanged under international tax transparency standards. The countries have agreed to “consider the possibility” of making a...

New IRS offshore amnesty regime imposes bigger penalties for secret accounts

The US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has issued guidance on the voluntary disclosure regime now in force, following the termination of its offshore predecessor on 28 September 2018. The new rules are effective for all disclosures after that date. And the possible penalties have gone up quite significantly. One of...

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...

Canada: Common Reporting Standard Is Now Fully In Effect – If You Have Been Hiding Funds Or Assets Offshore, Now Is The Time To Disclose

Introduction – Offshore funds and Canada Revenue Agency’ reach Gone are the days when offshore bank accounts were outside the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA)’s reach. With the advent of the Common Reporting Standard (CRS), CRA automatically receives financial information of Canadian taxpayers who own bank accounts or assets in other...

Caribbean Banks support passage of tax bill amendments

THE Caribbean Association of Banks (CAB) has joined the growing list of advocates for the expedited passage of urgent legislation to strengthen this country’s international tax compliance. “Non-compliance with Global Forum Standards and Financial Action Task Force (FATF) recommendations increases the sovereign risk profile of not only the jurisdiction (TT)...

Barbados minister foresees OECD compliance by year-end

Barbados is to scrap its international business company (IBC) regime in response to the OECD labeling the policy as “harmful” to competition, and being in breach of rules governing international taxation. Last year the OECD included Barbados on its list of jurisdictions with a “harmful” preferential tax regime, and said...

Government, European Union in talks over looming blacklist

Government officials have devised what they believe is a solution to the looming European Union blacklist threat, according to Neil Smith, the executive director of government’s Office of International Business (Regulations). The EU has threatened to place the Virgin Islands on an anti-tax avoidance blacklist at the end of the...

Barbados overhauls corporate tax regime, slashes tax rate on local companies more than 20 per cent

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Thursday November 22, 2018 – Barbados will harmonize its domestic and international corporation tax regimes, by December 31, 2018, slashing the tax burden for some local companies by up to 29 per cent. Prime Minister Mia Mottley announced in the Barbados Parliament on Tuesday, November 20, the ambitious...

Canada’s Trudeau Announces $10.5-Billion Fiscal Stimulus to Compete With US

The cabinet of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is set to implement tax cuts for the nation’s businesses, which, along with the announced plans to reduce regulation, are highly reminiscent of the economic policies of Canada’s southern neighbour. Kristian Rouz — Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has unveiled an ambitious...

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...

US multinationals dodge $180 billion in taxes on foreign profits per year

US multinational corporations are plundering the populations of the United States and the world to the tune of trillions of dollars by driving down and evading taxes on profits booked overseas. This is the conclusion that emerges from a recent study by University of California at Berkeley economist Gabriel Zucman...

Canada: Tax Residence In Canada – Are Significant Residential Ties Less Significant For Immigrants To Canada Than For Emigrants From Canada? A Canadian Tax Lawyer’s Analysis

Introduction A person’s status as a tax resident determines the extent to which Canada may tax that person’s income. The test for whether an individual—i.e., a natural person—is a Canadian tax resident turns on the individual’s particular circumstances. Every detail counts. But Canadian courts and the Canada Revenue Agency both...

British Virgin Islands: BVI AEOI Update And Introduction Of Country-By-Country Reporting

As part of the British Virgin Islands’ (“BVI”) ongoing commitment to international tax transparency pursuant to the Common Reporting Standard (“CRS”), the BVI Mutual Legal Assistance (Tax Matters) Act, 2003 has been amended by the BVI Mutual Legal Assistance (Tax Matters) (Amendment) Act, 2018 (the “Amendment Act”). The Amendment Act...

BIBA head confident Barbados can make tax law deadlines

Officials in the international business sector here are in somewhat of a wait and see mode as Barbados continues to make necessary legislative and regime changes governing the sector. This means companies seeking to attract new international business to Barbados have not been as robust in their efforts as they...

Government prepared to amend laws to prevent tax evasion

The Antigua and Barbuda government is willing to amend the necessary laws to ensure that local financial institutions are able to share banking information of dual citizenship holders with the relevant authorities in their original country of birth, if this becomes necessary. Prime Minister Gaston Browne made the disclosure following...

OECD report shines a light on how the wealthy dodge tax rules

On the list of countries operating CBI/RBI schemes, that the OECD feels have the potential to be used for tax dodging, are 2 tax havens that are popular with wealthy Canadians and large Canadian companies. These are Barbados and Panama. Ottawa (19 Oct. 2018) — New information from the Organization...

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...

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 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...

IRS bank secrecy program has little impact on tax compliance

The Internal Revenue Service’s Bank Secrecy Act program, in which it is supposed to safeguard against money laundering, is having only a minimal impact on tax compliance, according to a new report. The report, from the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, noted that the Currency and Foreign Transactions Reporting...

Advocacy Group Says EU’s Tax Haven Blacklist Is Failing

Tax havens are typically assumed to be islands in warm climates offering low tax rates for organizations looking for a lucrative loophole. But these “havens” are also sought after for opaque financial laws that can allow organizations to get away with illegal activity, like money laundering. Now, a new report...

Crypto Tax Rules Need Clarity, US Congress Tells Revenue Agency

The federal tax-collecting authority should update its virtual assets guidance because the lack of clarity creates uncertainty for citizens, Capitol Hill lawmakers said in an open letter. The US House of Representatives has urged the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to release a new, comprehensive version of its cryptocurrency guidance because...

McDonald’s Luxembourg tax deal not illegal

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – McDonald’s tax deal with Luxembourg did not breach EU state aid rules, EU antitrust regulators ruled on Wednesday, saying the reason the US fast food chain did not pay some taxes was due to the mismatch between US and Luxembourg laws. The decision by the European Commission...

Investing in Guangdong Easier for Foreign Firms after New Incentives Announced

On September 13, South China’s Guangdong province announced a series of investment incentives and cost-cutting measures to offset the impact of the worsening trade war with the US. The measures, outlined in the Policy Measures for Expanding Opening-up and Using Foreign Investment, consist of a 10-point plan to attract foreign...

China’s new income tax laws to bring ‘profound implications’

In June this year, the Chinese government announced much-anticipated revisions to the country’s individual income tax laws. KPMG Partner and Senior Advisor Michael Olesnicky says that these new revisions will likely have ‘profound implications’ within the wealth management community in Asia. Hubbis CEO Michael Stanhope recently spoke with him about...