Category: Beneficial Ownership

EU Lawmakers Visit IRS, Delaware as Tax Haven Concerns Mount

The European Parliament’s Panama Papers investigative committee is preparing for a “fact-finding” visit with counterparts in the U.S. Congress, as well as officials from the Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service. The European Union lawmakers’ four-day U.S. trip, which begins March 21, will include a visit to Delaware for meetings...

Anti-money laundering rule looms for advisers

WASHINGTON — In the current deregulatory environment, investment advisers might expect a reprieve from new federal compliance rules. But one exception is the proposal for an anti-money-laundering regulation, which experts believe is likely to become the law of the land, bringing with it a significant new compliance responsibility. A year...

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...

EU wants stricter transparency rules on ownership to prevent tax evasion and fight Money Laundering

The European Parliament’s Monetary Affairs and Civil Liberties committees’ overwhelming support for access by EU citizens to information concerning the beneficial owners of companies without having to demonstrate a ‘legitimate interest’ and trusts would have to meet the same requirements. MEPs agreed the on their position on EU Anti-Money Laundering...

Luxembourg: Luxembourg’s New Transfer Pricing Rules: Some Compliance Required!

On 22 December 2016 the Luxembourg Parliament passed article 56bis of the Luxembourg Income Tax Law (LITL). This provision gives taxpayers and tax authorities more guidance on how to apply the arm’s-length principle. The new article can be seen as a transposition of OECD BEPS reports (actions 8-9-10) released in...

Hong Kong, a hub for corporate offshore schemes, must ensure disclosure rules are truly effective

Jane Moir says the authorities’ plan to require companies to reveal their controlling owners, in the wake of the Panama Papers scandal, does not go far enough Last year’s Panama Papers revelations put Hong Kong in the crosshairs of global anti-money laundering bodies. The dump of 11.5 million documents from...

Is a register of beneficial ownership of companies coming?

As part of the global transparency push, the G20 has committed to implement rules requiring the disclosure of beneficial ownership of legal entities (in addition to automatic exchange of financial account information and the BEPS related transparency measures). On 13 February 2017, Treasury released a consultation paper dealing with part...

German, Swedish Banks Back Tougher Beneficial Owner Rules

German banks support stricter beneficial ownership rules for companies and trusts, while the leading Scandinavian bank backed an offshore corporate economic substance test to help comply with EU laws against money laundering and tax evasion. Testifying before the European Parliament’s Panama Papers investigative committee, the Association of German Banks told...

Register of people with significant control will not affect Crown territories

The government has quashed calls to look at extending the requirement to publish a public register of people with significant control to companies incorporated in the Crown dependencies and overseas territories, as part of a bid to increase tax transparency, saying new rules on the automatic exchange of information are...

Expose the true beneficiaries

THE Panama Papers, the world’s biggest leak, highlighted the complex ways used by companies and individuals to conceal who the actual beneficiaries of a company are. Some of them put their money into offshore accounts such as in Labuan, which is also an off-shore financial centre and tax haven. One...

Amendment sought for greater transparency over UK’s offshore tax havens

A parliamentary drive to force greater transparency on the UK’s offshore tax havens is being led by former Commons spending watchdog chairwoman Dame Margaret Hodge and ex-international development secretary Andrew Mitchell. The pair, backed by scores of MPs from across the Commons and supported by an alliance of charities, are...

Mauritius: Joint Statement By The FSC & The FSPA

The Mauritius IFC: Driving Growth in Africa As a jurisdiction of substance, the Mauritius International Financial Centre (Mauritius IFC) has been instrumental in driving quality investments in Africa, leading to sustained growth and prosperity across the continent. It is therefore with deep regret that we take note of the misperceptions...

Black money across the border: Why Pakistan’s elite are quivering as UAE demands tax information

According to unofficial estimates, more than $2 billion has flowed into Dubai real estate from Pakistanis every year for the past three years. Last week, account holders in a major UAE bank began receiving letters alerting them that soon they would be required to furnish information “with a view to...

Richards accuses Oxfam of ‘serial errors’

Finance minister Bob Richards has expressed dismay at Oxfam’s claim that Bermuda is the world’s worst corporate tax haven. And the Progressive Labour Party joined him to condemn the report as “extremely disappointing”. Mr Richards pointed to “serial errors” in the global charity’s report on offshore centres, which found that...

Final opportunity to disclose offshore assets before 1 May 2017 introduced by Finance Bill 2016

1. Why was a new offshore provision introduced by this year’s Finance Bill? Following revelations in the “Panama Papers” of major worldwide tax evasion in April 2016 (which included certain Irish Resident account holders), the Minister for Finance announced on budget day, 12 October 2016 that this year’s Finance Bill...

UK Accused of Erecting ‘Brick Wall’ Over Tax Havens, Laundering, Corruption

The UK – which is Friday (December 9) hosting a global tax transparency summit – has been accused of erecting a “brick wall” over hundreds of thousands of companies that use British Oversea Territories as tax havens allowing “corrupt” owners to “enjoy their ill-gotten gains with impunity.” The UK Parliament...

Planning for the Use of the United States as a Financial Haven: Part One

The United States has not agreed to participate in the Common Reporting Standard (CRS), relying instead on the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) regime enacted in 2010 and initiated in 2014. United States participation in CRS is highly unlikely. Even with a change in control of Congress, CRS may...

Germany Prepares Crackdown on Letterboxes

Nov. 15 — The German Cabinet is preparing to address a bill Dec. 21 to combat tax evasion by cracking down on letterbox companies and banking secrecy as a response to the Panama Papers and other scandals involving sophisticated forms of tax planning. The bill, prepared by the Federal Ministry...

Govt poised to regulate offshore investments

ISLAMABAD: The government has stepped up to check corruption and regulate offshore investments in a bid to promote transparency and good governance, finance minister said on Tuesday. “New measures, such as the companies’ global register of beneficial ownership, will curb corruption, help (government) address challenges related to offshore investments and...

Cayman may find itself on EU’s ‘non-cooperative jurisdictions’ list

Cayman could find itself on a new EU list of “non-cooperative jurisdictions” in tax matters after the European Council of finance ministers published the criteria for including third countries in the blacklist last week. The provisions emphasize that a jurisdiction “should not facilitate offshore structures or arrangements aimed at attracting...

Panama Papers’ taskforce launches tax evasion investigations

A government taskforce created to analyse the Panama Papers data leak has identified a number of leads that are relevant to a major insider-trading operation, led by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and supported by the National Crime Agency. After acquiring data on offshore activity in Panama, the taskforce has...

EU agrees screening process for tax havens, critics cry foul

European Union finance ministers agreed on Tuesday how to screen countries for a blacklist of tax havens across the world, officials said, and said applying zero-rate taxes was not necessarily a factor, prompting an outcry. The bloc committed in May to agree on a common list of tax offenders by...

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...

Time for U.K. to Get Tough on Offshore Transparency?

With the exception of British Antarctica, the U.K.’s overseas territories and offshore dependencies are all surrounded by sun-winking ocean water. But that’s not their only common feature—they are all under increasing political pressure to become more transparent with their financial information. In a parliamentary report on tackling overseas corruption, the...

EU Finance Ministers to Target Tax Advisers, Protect Whistle-Blowers

Tough rules to regulate tax advisers, banks and lawyers who help companies avoid tax are set to be advanced by European Union finance ministers. The Council of Economic and Financial Affairs Oct. 11 also will likely move toward a system of automatic exchange of beneficial ownership registers to better target...

After disclosure on Bahamas tax havens, UN experts urge governments to take action

In the wake of the recent disclosure of leaked Bahamas tax haven data, United Nations human rights experts today urged governments to work together on liquidating offshore tax avoidance and establishing tougher financial regulations. In a news release, Juan Pablo Bohoslavsky, the UN Independent Expert on foreign debt and human...

EU to black list tax havens, EU Commissioner Moscovisi says

A list on non-cooperative tax jurisdictions around the world, the first ever common EU list, is being under preparation, Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, Taxation and Customs Pierre Moscovici has said. “This month, we started the process that will lead, by the end of 2017, to the first ever...

India to get tax, banking related info from Seychelles

NEW DELHI: Aiming to curb tax evasion and avoidance, India has operationalised the Tax Information Exchange Agreement (TIEA) with Seychelles, one of the major sources of foreign investment into the country. The agreement will enable the authorities of both nations to provide assistance through exchange of tax and banking information,...

To really tackle corporate tax evasion we need a public register

The Australian government shouldn’t rely on leaks like that of the Panama Papers to pick up on tax evasion, it should consider stronger action. The federal government showed some leadership earlier this year by announcing the establishment of a public register of beneficial ownership of companies, with the aim of...

Obama warns G20 of risk of tax ‘race to the bottom’

The G20 summit in China has stressed the need for international tax cooperation to achieve ‘a globally fair and modern international tax system’, after US President Obama warned of the risks if countries ‘race to the bottom’ in tax policies At a press conference at the conclusion of the summit,...

UK offshore companies side-step new transparency rules

Some of Britain’s offshore companies have continued to wriggle out of new transparency restrictions according to research released this weekend. Under rules brought in on 1 July 2016, British companies need to disclose on an annual basis any changes to directors or shareholders – both being deemed “persons of significant...

South Africa Urges African Transfer Pricing Advances

During a recent speech in Pretoria to the High Level Conference on Illicit Financial Flows, South African Minister of Finance Pravin Gordhan noted that tax code improvements are required in African countries so that multinational enterprises (MNEs) “pay their fair share of taxes in the countries where they generate their...

After Brexit, EU proposes tougher tax rules on trusts

The European Commission will propose on Tuesday stricter rules on trusts to prevent tax evasion, according to draft legislation seen by Reuters, in a move that Britain has long opposed and which was deferred until after the Brexit referendum. The EU push to identify owners of trusts has been in...

Sweden Issues Tax Avoidance Action Plan

Sweden will appoint an inquiry to study whether tax advisers should be required to inform the Swedish Tax Agency about tax planning schemes as part of an action plan to combat tax avoidance, which also urges companies to maintain their own tax policies at board level. According to the Government,...

Tax havens accuse US of ‘hypocrisy’ over tax avoidance

A group of tax havens have accused larger countries like the United States of “hypocrisy” when it comes to cracking down on tax avoidance. With the issue of offshore finance high on the agenda in light of the fall out from the so-called Panama Papers scandal, world leaders convened in...

US plans reporting requirements for foreign-owned disregarded entities

US disregarded entities owned by foreign persons would be treated as domestic corporations under regulations proposed by the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) on Friday (REG-127199-15). The new rules would apply for purposes of the reporting, record maintenance, and other compliance requirements that apply to 25% foreign-owned domestic corporations under...

Post-Panama: Why your AEOI frameworks must now be automated, auditable and adaptable

Hot off the heels of the Panamanian documents leak, 5 EU countries announced last month that they have agreed to exchange beneficial ownership information. France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK will now automatically exchange information on the ultimate beneficial owners of companies and trusts. These 5 EU countries are...

FATCA documentation for US-based trusts

Introduction Even though a trust may be established under the laws of a US state and have a US trust company serving as trustee (hereinafter a ‘US-based trust’), this does not mean that it is a US domestic trust for income tax purposes. If non-US persons make substantial decisions for...

Key features of new Thai-Indian DTA

THE DOUBLE taxation treaty (DTA) between India and Thailand has been successfully renegotiated and agreed to by both states and will come into force in January next year. The key highlights include a reduction of withholding tax on dividends, interest and royalties. Article 10 reduces the dividend withholding tax to...

Australia to Have Public Register to Record Tax Avoidance

Australia is following the path of the United Kingdom and is planning to create a public register that will unmask the shell company owners who take advantage of tax avoidance by the international companies. The Guardian reported that the Canberra government has expressed on making a public commitment to put...

The problem of secretive tax havens

Panama is a tax haven, but Mauritius is one with which India has a comprehensive double tax treaty. This complicates matters more. In popular Indian imagination, a tax haven is generally associated with Switzerland and its numbered bank accounts. But tax havens are numerous, have grown in importance, and are...

Vijay Mallya’s secrets buried in offshore tax havens

It’s not just the Indian banks that business tycoon Vijay Mallya has taken for a ride. The chairman of United Breweries (UB) group and promoter of now defunct Kingfisher Airlines also concealed in his election affidavit, filed before the Rajya Sabha, his business interests in offshore tax havens elsewhere. dna...

No double taxation agreement with Panama; Maltese domicile subject to tax on worldwide income

Maltese individuals resident and domiciled for tax purposes, that is people whose permanent residence is in Malta, are required to pay tax in Malta on their worldwide income, according to the Income Tax Act. This essentially means that Minister Konrad Mizzi is required to pay tax on foreign earnings. However...

A New Set of Amendments to the Russian CFC and Beneficial Ownership Rules

On February 15, 2016, the President of the Russian Federation signed Federal Law No. 32-FZ “On Amendments to the First and Second Parts of the Russian Tax Code (with Respect to the Taxation of Controlled Foreign Companies and the Income of Foreign Organizations)”, introducing a new set of amendments to...

Bank Julius Baer Hit With $547M Criminal Tax Evasion Penalty, Two Bankers Plead Guilty

Bank Julius Baer of Switzerland will pay a $547 million penalty as two bankers individually plead guilty. The bank itself is charged with helping U.S. taxpayers hide billions in offshore accounts and cheating the IRS. The Bank’s deferred prosecution agreement admits that it knowingly assisted U.S. taxpayer-clients in evading taxes....

US TIGHTENS UP ON LUXURY PROPERTY PURCHASES THROUGH OFFSHORE COMPANIES

The US’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network has announced it will be investigating the individuals behind secretive all-cash purchases of high-end luxury real estate in a six-month trial programme intended to enhance the treasury’s anti-money laundering efforts. The initiative will focus on all-cash property purchases of over $3 million in New...

India: Swiss Apex Court Denies Treaty Benefits For Dividend On Securities Acquired For Hedging Derivative Contracts

Federal Supreme Court of Switzerland denies treaty benefits in case of dividend paid on shares acquired for hedging derivative contracts. Court stated that due to the fully hedged nature of ownership, there was economic nexus and interdependency between two independent transactions and therefore, the “intermediary” bank did not have beneficial...