Category: Oceania

Inland Revenue Ordinance to be amended to facilitate international tax co-operation

Hong Kong (HKSAR) – The Inland Revenue (Amendment) (No. 5) Bill 2017 (Amendment Bill) was gazetted today (October 6). The Amendment Bill seeks to pave the way for Hong Kong’s participation in the Multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters, and to align the Inland Revenue Ordinance (IRO)...

$128m Possible Tax Evasion, $8m Possible Laundering

Last year $128 million was identified for possible tax evasion and $81 million as funds available for possible laundering in and through the Fijian financial system. Fiji Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) investigated and profiled more than 1,000 individuals and 388 businesses. This was presented by FIU director Razim Buksh to...

New Swiss tax data exchange deals raise red flags

The automatic exchange of tax information (AIE) between countries is generally seen as an effective way of cracking down on tax cheats. But what if a country uses the data to politically oppress its citizens? It’s a burning issue facing Swiss lawmakers. This week, Swiss parliament will begin a debate...

Supermarkets under spotlight for tax evasion

Three major supermarkets are under investigation for tax evasion by the Fiji Revenue and Customs Services. In an exclusive interview with FBC News, Revenue and Customs chief executive, Visvanath Das says the non-compliance by any one of the three supermarkets could amount an average of fifty million dollars each. Hot...

Big corporates seek lower tax rate

Some of New Zealand’s largest companies are calling on any future government to lower the corporate tax rate, which is becoming high compared to other countries, and a “New Zealand first” approach to policing cross-border finance arrangements that under-tax revenue in other countries. Published jointly by peak business lobby Business...

Ending secret identities is the ‘new frontier’ in fighting tax evasion: OECD’s head of tax Pascal Saint-Amans

Revealing the secret identifies behind shell companies and opaque trusts is the “new frontier” in fighting tax evasion, says the OECD’s head of tax Pascal Saint-Amans. In an exclusive interview with Fairfax Media, Mr Saint-Amans also spoke about the Turnbull government’s tougher domestic laws aimed at cracking down on multinational...

Tax breaks coming in the Cook Islands

Amendments to Cook Islands tax laws are expected to be made next month. The changes would allow government to write-off some tax debts and forgive companies or individuals any undeclared income. Describing the changes as a tax amnesty the Finance minister Mark Browne said the government had made a commitment...

Invoicing scam

THE Fiji Revenue and Customs Authority has uncovered a scam where companies hire graphic artists to manipulate the value of overseas invoices. Speaking on the global move towards greater financial disclosure, FRCA director corporate services Fazrul Rahman said a Fiji company was under the microscope for incorrect invoicing. “This Fiji...

Tax predictability is key to driving investment

Deloitte survey highlights tax predictability as key to driving investment growth in Asia Pacific New Zealand well placed against backdrop of increased uncertainty in Asia Pacific’s tax landscape New Zealand’s tax policies are seen as relatively straight forward, consistent and predictable compared to other countries in the region, according to...

G20 Citizens Favor BEPS Crackdown Over Tax Competition

Citizens in G20 countries would prefer their government engage in international efforts to improve the functioning of international tax rules than compete for tax receipts, says a new survey. G20 public trust in tax, a report compiled by the ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants), IFAC (the International Federation...

Tax haven label haunts Barbados

There is a worrying perception of Barbados on as a tax haven, a view that is hampering the island’s status as a jurisdiction in which to do business, says President of the Barbados International Business Association (BIBA) Gregory McConnie. Equally troubling, McConnie says, is that Barbados’ primary investing jurisdiction, Canada,...

New Zealand Seeks Input On Automatic Tax Information Exchange

New Zealand has asked taxpayers for input on countries that lack the safeguards to ensure information automatically exchanged under the Common Reporting Standard (CRS) remains confidential. To comply with the new international tax information exchange standard developed by the OECD, the CRS, New Zealand must publish a list of jurisdictions...

Law Society reaches understanding with IRD on FATCA

The New Zealand Law Society says that following discussions with Inland Revenue and the New Zealand Bankers’ Association it has now reached an understanding with Inland Revenue about application of FATCA to lawyers’ trusts accounts. FATCA is the United States’ Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act. Its objective is to reduce...

What happens if you are from the UK or own assets in the UK?

Beware of the dreaded inheritance tax and changes to it from April 2017! Approximately 1.3 million Britons now live in Australia and Brexit may only increase this number! Many think that moving to Australia means they no longer need to worry about UK tax, but often they are not fully...

Next off the block – AEOI

You might have thought you have enough on your plate getting to grips with anti-money laundering rules closely followed by FATCA – but it’s not over yet! Next off the block is the Automatic Exchange of Financial Account Information in Tax Matters (AEOI). The AEOI, which we first provided an...

New Zealand: New Zealand To Enact Tighter Foreign Trust Disclosure Rules

The New Zealand Parliament has passed a Bill which, following royal assent, will meaningfully increase disclosure obligations for NZ resident trustees of NZ foreign trusts. The Taxation (Business Tax, Exchange of Information, and Remedial Matters) Bill, was passed by Parliament on 14 February 2017. The Bill contains important provisions relating...

Govt seeks to lift focus on nominee directors & bring anti-money laundering into the picture in attempt to clean up Financial Service Providers Register

The Government is considering making companies include detail of who their supervisor is under the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act (AML/CFT Act) as it strives to clean up the Financial Service Providers Register (FSPR). This suggestion is included in a consultation paper on a Financial Services Legislation...

Panama not cooperating with Malta tax authorities

Authorities unable to access leaked e-mails from Mossack Fonseca Panama is not cooperating with the Maltese tax authorities in their investigations into the Panama Papers leak, according to Finance Minister Edward Scicluna. Prof. Scicluna made his comments to Malta Today. Inland Revenue Commissioner Marvin Gaerty told this paper last year...

New Zealand Issues Guidance On OECD’s Common Reporting Standard

New Zealand’s Inland Revenue has published draft guidance to help financial institutions prepare for the OECD’s Common Reporting Standard for the Automatic Exchange of Financial Account Information in Tax Matters. The country is expected to pass legislation to implement the CRS by March 2017. The CRS is an international standard...

Government planning action to target multinationals over tax

The Government is planning unilateral action to crack down on tax dodging by multinational companies, including changing the law, amid growing concern about fairness. Revenue Minister Michael Woodhouse said proposals outlined in a cabinet discussion document tabled last month would see Inland Revenue properly armed to tackle the problem and...

Microsoft agrees to more transparency on taxes in Australia

The Australian government is one of the most aggressive in highlighting the issue of multinational corporations avoiding taxes through extensive use of tax havens. Microsoft’s Australian subsidiary will start disclosing the amount of tax it pays in Australia, opting in to a government-transparency program aimed at shedding light on the...

French Panel Adopts ‘Google Tax’ on Diverted Profits

Big U.S. internet companies in France could get hit by a new BEPS-inspired penalty on “diverted profits” under a so-called Google tax measure that France’s National Assembly is set to consider next week. The amendment, proposed by Socialist Deputy Yann Galut and adopted by the Assembly’s finance committee, targets foreign...

Federal government moves to stop double taxation, evasion

The Federal Executive Council, FEC, on Wednesday approved a bilateral agreement for the avoidance of double taxation and the prevention of physical evasion of taxes on income and capital benefits between Nigeria and Singapore. The Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun disclosed to State House Correspondents, after the FEC meeting...

High Court confirms tax evasion by companies linked to wealthy businessman Vanda Gould

A series of companies associated with high-flying Sydney accountant who had scores of wealthy clients in Sydney’s eastern suburbs have been found to have avoided paying tax by the High Court, in a case that the tax office has described as “blatant tax evasion”. Four companies linked to accountant, Vanda...

FBR to file FIRs against owners of offshore companies

ISLAMABAD: The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) is making preparation for registration of FIRs against those selected individuals who owned offshore companies and were named in Panama/Bahamas Leaks but failed to comply against the sent-out tax notices within the stipulated timeframe. The FBR found 114 cases whereby individuals were non-compliant...

New Zealand Planning More BEPS Measures

New Zealand’s tax agency has set out the international tax initiatives it intends to pursue, in particular in response to the OECD’s base erosion and profit shifting plan. It said it will undertake further work on a package of BEPS initiatives, which will include hybrid mismatch rules to prevent companies...

Australian Practitioners Urge Zero Withholding for Pooled Funds

Practitioners in the managed funds industry are calling for a zero-rate for withholding tax in Australia amid the government’s proposals for new tax concessions to boost it, saying the proposed measures don’t go far enough. The government released a consultation paper Nov. 3 on non-resident withholding taxes for pooled funds—or...

IRD delayed multinational tax crackdown

New Zealand has delayed cracking down on multinational tax avoidance due to private sector concerns over timing and concerns about “scaring away” foreign investment, the Inland Revenue Department says. Wide-ranging reforms to corporate tax rules proposed by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), known as the base erosion...

Tax transparency tops OECD agenda in Tbilisi

The OECD is calling on all jurisdictions to conform to the latest tax transparency standards under exchange of information rules at the same time as they develop their own tax transparency initiatives The majority of OECD members have committed to implement the automatic exchange of information (AEOI) standard, with a...

With 42% increase in trade, India-NZ agree to amend Double Taxation Agreement

India and New Zealand also vowed to press for successful negotiations of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). India and New Zealand decided to amend the bilateral tax treaty and expressed commitment to work towards a comprehensive free trade agreement with a view to boost economic ties on Wednesday. The...

Pakistan to seek offshore companies information from nine tax havens

Pakistan’s authorities are making efforts to seek information about tax details of 270 offshore companies from nine known tax havens around the globe where 444 individuals have invested billions of dollars, and, finally, their names appeared through PanamaLeaks, The News has learnt. The cases of 444 individuals involving nine jurisdictions...

Hong Kong Committed To Compliant International Tax Regime

During a recent speech, the Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury, K C Chan, reiterated Hong Kong’s commitment to meeting the international standards on tax transparency, and to implementing the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD’s) base erosion and profits shifting (BEPS) package. In his speech on October...

CANADA, ISRAEL SIGN AGREEMENT ON DOUBLE TAXATION

CANADA, ISRAEL SIGN AGREEMENT ON DOUBLE TAXATION As Prime Minister Justin Trudeau joined other world leaders in addressing the United Nations General Assembly, behind the glare of the camera lights, Foreign Affairs Minister Stéphane Dion met with Israel’s Finance Minster Moshe Kahlon on the sidelines to sign an agreement to...

Govt approves signing of tax evasion agreement with Samoa

The Cabinet today gave approval for signing and ratification of an agreement between India and Samoa for exchange of information to curb tax evasion. The agreement enables India and Samoa to provide assistance through exchange of information that is foreseeably relevant to the administration and enforcement of the domestic laws...

New Zealand extends anti-money laundering rules to capture property agents

New Zealand will extend its anti-money laundering laws to cover real estate agents and other professions amid fears the country has become a soft target for illegal fund flows that have also helped inflate the property market. Soaring property prices have become a hot issue among the New Zealand public...

Government, Opposition to meet on FACTA legislation

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, Sept 10, CMC – Government and opposition legislators are to meet here on Monday as the deadline for meeting the September 30 deadline for passing the Foreign Account Tax Compliance ACT (FATCA). Caribbean financial executives have in the past bemoaned what they deem as an uneven...

Tax Agreements: From Double Taxation To Double Evasion

The issue of tax havens is inherently international in scope. As a result, the government can use tax agreements to fight tax avoidance schemes. Unfortunately, tax agreements haven’t been used for that purpose. On the contrary, they have facilitated the outflow of Canadian money to offshore financial centres, and have...