Category: Australia

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...

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...

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...

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...

Panama Papers: Further revelations about New Zealand’s role as a tax haven

Reports published last week, based on the Panama Papers, cast further light on New Zealand’s role as a location where wealthy individuals around the world are able to hide their fortunes. Last month the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists released millions of leaked documents revealing that Panama-based Mossack Fonseca, the...

Cayman’s offshore banking sector shrinking

A major sector of the banking industry in the Caymans could be wiped out by tough regulations designed to fight money-laundering. The number of Class B banks registered with the islands’ regulator has fallen by 14 to 184 over the last year alone. Class B banks generally offer depository services...

Wayne Swan: Tax avoidance impoverishes us all. Fighting it requires challenging the powerful

few days before Christmas, in the full light of an Australian summer, the Australian tax commissioner published the tax details of 1,500 large corporate taxpayers which showed a staggering one-third of these companies paid no tax in 2014. This transparency measure was part of a wider package of ground-breaking legislation...

China suspends forex business for some foreign banks: sources

China’s central bank has suspended at least three foreign banks from conducting some foreign exchange business until the end of March, three sources who had seen the suspension notices told Reuters on Wednesday. Included among the suspended services are liquidation of spot positions for clients and some other activities related...

Australia Legislates For Common Reporting Standard

The Australian Government has introduced legislation to implement the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development’s (OECD’s) Common Reporting Standard for the automatic exchange of financial account information. Treasurer Scott Morrison said: “The Standard will assist the tax office to crack down on taxpayers hiding funds and investments offshore in order...

Switzerland: The Free Flow Of Data

Switzerland is on its way towards the Automatic Exchange of Information (AEOI). The AEOI will lead to the transmission of sets of data from a reporting financial institution (e.g. a bank) to the domestic tax authority. The domestic tax authority will have to exchange such data with the respective foreign...

Six ways the ATO uses data to catch tax-dodgers

How analytics will nab cheaters. Tomorrow is the Australian Taxation Office’s official cutoff for 2014-15 personal tax returns. Will you be tempted to tell fibs about your income? How will the tax man ever know? Take note: it may already know – or at least can find out – a...

Quarter of businesses to miss BEPS deadline

A quarter of companies say they won’t meet the first deadline proposed by the Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in its base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS) action plan, reports Economia. Globally, 74 per cent said they will complete their country-by-country analysis by the first due date, December...

Senior lawyer suggests simple solution to anti-money laundering law arbitrage opportunity, says judgment against FMA well constructed and logical

The four entities tasked with upholding New Zealand’s anti-money laundering law should team up to close off the law’s obvious arbitrage opportunity by stopping financial services companies that only have clients overseas from being able to sidestep the law, a leading lawyer says. As first highlighted by interest.co.nz in August...

US Signs Competent Authority Agreements With UK, Australia

The Internal Revenue Service has entered into landmark Competent Authority Agreements with authorities in Australia and the United Kingdom to support the implementation of the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA). The US has signed FATCA intergovernmental agreements with both of these nations. Each of these agreements provides that Competent...

Dividend imputation has changed how NZ corporates deliver returns to shareholders, says EY. Will Australia’s reconsideration of the system affect us?

Content supplied by EY New Zealand is one of only a few countries with a dividend imputation regime. Introduced in 1988, New Zealand’s imputation regime removes double taxation on distributions by attributing to shareholders a credit for the tax borne on profits at the company level. Benefits include a single...

BHP Billiton warns of backlash over any Australian tax-grab policies

BHP Billiton has warned any move by Australia to single-handedly combat corporate profit shifting could spark a backlash from other nations that is likely to ultimately harm local companies. Finance director Peter Beaven says while action on so-called base erosion and profit shifting is needed, it must be part of...

Chevron tax filings challenged by US tax authorities, report says

Chevron’s tax filings face repeated challenges from the United States and other global tax authorities, according to a new union-backed report that calls on world governments to crack down on the energy giant’s alleged profit-shifting tactics. The world’s largest trade union body, the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), has called...

Tax avoidance crackdown: 1000 multinationals face tax squeeze under new rules

‘I’m not going to buy into that’ Joe Hockey refuses to feed speculation that he could be replaced as Treasurer by Scott Morrison under the new Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. Malcolm Turnbull’s first full day as PM: Live coverage Joe Hockey signals he’s ready to serve on Malcolm Turnbull’s frontbench...

Country-By-Country Reporting: The Transfer Pricing Game-Changer

This month’s feature examines proposals for new tax information reporting requirements for large multinational businesses as part of wider and ongoing changes to the international tax system – proposals which have been described by international tax experts as the most significant development in the field of transfer pricing since TP...

Ireland making ‘little or no’ effort to curb corruption – report

Ireland has made “little or no” effort over the past four years to create a corruption-free playing field for global trade, violating its “obligation to combat cross-border bribery”, reports the Irish Times. The Transparency International Exporting Corruption report, released on Thursday, found that Ireland, along with countries such as Russia,...

Ministers of Finance of the German speaking European countries are due to discuss (international) tax matters during their next annual meeting

On August 21, 2015 the Government of Liechtenstein issued a press release announcing that the Austrian Minister of Finance (Hans Jörg Schelling) has invited his German (Wolfang Schäuble), Swiss (Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf), Luxembourg (Pierre Gramegna) and Liechtenstein (Adrian Hasler) counterparts for the annual meeting of Ministers of Finance of the German...

Wall of Chinese capital buying up Australian properties

The “wall of Chinese capital” hitting property markets in Sydney and Melbourne will not ease up until the government introduces its anti-money laundering legislation, says an expert in ‘flight capital’. James Tee, an ethnic Chinese property developer whose business specialises in “capital expatriation” – that is, getting money out of...

Australia reaches tax loophole crackdown deal with UK

Summary:Australia and the UK have reached a deal aimed at helping tackle profit-shifting practices by multinational companies, such as Apple, Google, and Microsoft. Australia and the United Kingdom have agreed to form a joint working group to tackle profit shifting by multinational companies such as Google, Apple, and Microsoft. The...

UK, Australia To Push Diverted Profits Taxes

UK Chancellor George Osborne and Australian Treasurer Joe Hockey have committed to establishing a working group to urgently consider and develop initiatives centered around the UK’s Diverted Profits Tax. The announcement was made at the Group of Twenty (G-20) Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting, which was held in...

Australia must break the shackles of intellectual property in FTAs

Last week some of Australia’s biggest and richest companies voluntarily fronted up to a senate inquiry on corporate tax avoidance. Bigwigs from big brands, including Apple, Google, Microsoft, Rio Tinto, BHP Billiton and Fortescue Metals, squirmed under the spotlight as they were grilled about how they (legally) shift profits offshore...

Google, Apple and Microsoft defend tax set-up that shifts revenue offshore

Executives tell Senate inquiry paying tax overseas for Australian sales is how the global tax system works, while News Corp Australia demands Netflix pays GST Senior executives from three major tech firms have defended corporate structures which allow most of the revenue from their Australian operations to be taxed in...

No hiding place for expat tax evaders

New rules mean that almost 100 governments around the world will exchange information about bank accounts Expat tax dodgers are running out of places to hide, as information about their bank accounts and assets will soon be exchanged between 93 governments globally. At present, if tax authorities suspect people of...

Global Tax Transparency Goes Live in 2016

Cross border tax fraud and tax evasion by High Net Wealth Individuals (HNWI) are serious problems for many jurisdictions. For many years exchange of information between countries has been solely upon request. In practise this procedure is not efficiently working as it requires foreseeable relevance, thus ‘fishing’ for information is...

Australia needs a modern and globalised tax system

The Abbott Government will shortly release a discussion paper on the Australian tax system. It will be the first step towards the much anticipated tax white paper. International factors should figure prominently in the white paper — specifically, how to ensure that Australia has a resilient tax system given the...