Category: Beneficial Ownership

Banker’s Toolbox addresses beneficial ownership rules

Banker’s Toolbox, Inc., the leader in Bank Secrecy Act anti-money laundering compliance solutions for financial institutions, announced today the launch of its Due Diligence Manager solution for Beneficial Ownership. This extension of the existing BAM+ platform delivers exciting and holistic features including a completely flexible question builder and automated periodic...

14 Territories Praised By OECD For Tax Transparency Advances

A number of territories that had failed to demonstrate they have complied with international tax transparency standards have had their ratings upgraded by the OECD, following “fast-track” peer reviews. It said that the territories’ frameworks were reevaluated to assess whether recent progress would result in an upgrade to their ratings...

OECD Lists One Tax Haven, Tax Justice Network Says ‘Nonsense!’

The OECD’s body for assessing compliance with international tax transparency standards plans to tell an upcoming summit in Hamburg, Germany, that Trinidad and Tobago is the world’s only tax haven. Group of 20 country leaders meeting last year in China asked that body, the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange...

Strengthened EU rules to tackle money laundering, tax avoidance and terrorism financing enter into force

The Juncker Commission has made the fight against tax avoidance, money laundering and terrorism financing one of its priorities. Today, the Fourth Anti-Money Laundering Directive enters into force. It strengthens the existing rules and will make the fight against money laundering and terrorism financing more effective. It also improves transparency...

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...

Morneau ‘laying down the gauntlet’ on corporate tax loopholes

The finance minister says federal government doesn’t “want to wait for the next Panama Papers.” Canada’s finance minister denounced “unfair” tax loopholes on Thursday and put Bay St. on notice that the Liberal government is committed to addressing “blind spots” and exposing shadowy corporate finances to public scrutiny. “We don’t...

Kosovo, Switzerland sign agreement on double taxation

Kosovo and Switzerland signed on Friday an agreement regulating taxation of income and capital, which is beneficial for both countries, the Swiss federal government said. Under the agreement on double taxation dividends will be taxed at source at a maximum rate of 15%, while qualified participations – at no more...

ECJ Rules In Austria’s Favor In Tax Dispute With Germany

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has ruled in favor of Austria in its dispute with Germany relating to the taxation of interest from profit-participation certificates received by an Austrian bank from a German bank. The case involved the interpretation and application of Article 11 of the 2000 double tax...

Germany Provides Update On 10-Point Tax Evasion Plan

The German Ministry of Finance has published a progress report on its 10-point plan to combat tax evasion, which was first announced in the wake of last year’s Panama Papers leak. The plan, launched on April 12, 2016, outlines the measures that Germany wants to put in place at domestic...

Sao Paulo Property Secrecy Exposes Continuing Role of UK Tax Havens

A new report from Transparency International has revealed that more than US$2.7 billion worth of property in Sao Paulo, Brazil’s biggest city, is hidden behind shell companies, many of which have close links to the United Kingdom, which has many offshore tax havens in its overseas dependencies. Using newly released...

Sao Paulo Property Secrecy Exposes Continuing Role of UK Tax Havens

A new report from Transparency International has revealed that more than US$2.7 billion worth of property in Sao Paulo, Brazil’s biggest city, is hidden behind shell companies, many of which have close links to the United Kingdom, which has many offshore tax havens in its overseas dependencies. Using newly released...

Withholding tax on dividends – A bagful of uncertainties and complexities?

Muscat: One of the many changes that the Royal Decree 9 of 2017 (RD) has made in the Oman Income tax law is the introduction of withholding tax (WHT) on payment of ‘dividends on shares’ by Omani companies. This amendment requires Omani companies distributing dividends on shares to foreign persons...

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...