Category: Oceania

India’s sweeping anti money laundering agenda comes under scrutiny

Money laundering and abuse of sophisticated financial instruments have come under increasing scrutiny from regulators. However observers warn high-profile initiatives often act as a distraction from a lack of genuine political will to tackle global financial crime. For example, India’s leading stock exchange, the BSE, de-listed 222 dormant shell companies...

Tax chiefs unite to tackle international tax crime

HMRC has formed an alliance with tax enforcement bodies in 4 countries to share intelligence and expertise in the battle against international tax crime. The UK has joined forces with Canada, the Netherlands, the United States and Australia to launch the Joint Chiefs of Global Tax Enforcement (J5) – a...

OECD backs BEPS plan in face of critics

The OECD has endorsed New Zealand’s crackdown on multi-national tax evasion, despite significant criticism from local businesses that it departs from OECD standards, Thomas Coughlan reports. David Bradbury, head of the OECD’s tax policy and statistics division, told Newsroom that the OECD was “very pleased with the strong support that...

Keith Schembri Once Again Contradicts His Own Statements Regarding His Offshore Company Network

His story has changed somewhere along the line Keith Schembri’s latest explanation today of his network of offshore companies flies in the face of his original statement when the Panama scandal first broke out two years ago. Reacting to stories published today by German paper Süddeutsche Zeitung and the Times...

Barbados Agrees To Phase Out Harmful Tax Regimes

Two Barbados preferential tax regimes have been labelled “potentially harmful” in additional guidance released by the OECD in connection with its base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS) project. The guidance singles out Barbados’s international financial services regime and its credit for foreign currency earnings/credit for overseas projects or services regime....

US Treasury disputes EU decision to list Guam on tax haven blacklist

The U.S. Treasury Secretary is disputing a decision by the European Union to place Guam, and American Samoa, on its blacklist of noncooperating tax jurisdictions. In a letter to EU Secretary General Jeppe Tranholm-Mikkelsen, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin wrote that “there is no basis for concluding that American Samoa...

Govt. of India and Govt. of NZ signs Third Protocol to the Convention for avoidance of double taxation and the prevention of fiscal evasion

The Ministry of Finance (Department of Revenue) vide notification S.O. 3512(E) dated November 2, 2017 sets out the Third Protocol to the Convention between the Government of the Republic of India and the Government of New Zealand for the avoidance of double taxation and the prevention of fiscal evasion with...

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...