Category: EU

Not international business as usual

BARBADOS’ OFFSHORE FINANCIAL SERVICES SECTOR is again under threat. The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), G20 and the European Union (EU) are acting in concert, armed with the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) and the Common Reporting Standard (CRS). Once implemented, the confidentiality which once protected financial… – Continue reading

Moscovici resolute on common corporate tax base

EU commissioner urges member states to ensure fair share of tax is paid EU economics commissioner Pierre Moscovici reiterated his commitment to re-launch the Common Consolidated Corporate Tax Base yesterday, urging all EU member states to ensure that companies pay their fair share of tax. Speaking following a meeting of… – Continue reading

Tax trouble brews for Starbucks, Apple as Europe takes aim at taxes

Multinationals have come under fire yet again over their tax arrangements in some European countries, as the continent moves closer to a pan-European regime to combat tax avoidance. On Friday, European economy and finance ministers and central bankers (known as an ECOFIN meeting) gathered in Luxembourg to discuss what the… – Continue reading

Malta remains against tax harmonization

Speaking at an informal meeting of the Economic and Financial Affairs (ECOFIN) in Luxembourg, Finance Minister Edward Scicluna once again expressed Malta’s opposition to tax harmonization. “Taxation remains a sensitive area for Malta, not only because of its obvious role in the revenue collection process, but also as an important… – Continue reading

Tax evader crackdown could reduce offshore banking options for expats

An initiative intended to catch tax dodgers could have a negative impact on those with perfectly legitimate bank accounts. Tax expert Howard Bilton offers advice The draconian Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), introduced by the US Government to tackle tax evasion by its citizens, has already affected Britons living… – Continue reading

Italy sees progress on euro zone financial transactions tax

The finance ministers of 11 euro zone countries willing to introduce a financial transactions tax (FTT) are expected to make progress on the thorny issue in a meeting on Saturday in Luxembourg, Italy’s economy minister said. Germany and France proposed the tax in 2012, in the midst of the euro… – Continue reading

MEPs approve draft report on corporate tax avoidance

This week, MEPs discussed a draft report on tax rulings, with a view to a vote in the next plenary session in Strasbourg. The report proposes a comprehensive overhaul of corporate tax practices as part of the EU’s battle to tackle tax avoidance. Parliament’s special committee on tax rulings (TAXE)… – Continue reading

The Implications for International Tax Planning From the Looming Fiscal Crisis

The international financial sector faces a perilous future. Major challenges loom over an uncertain global economy, while a decidedly negative political climate poses an existential threat to the offshore financial community. With each passing year, thanks to demographic changes and poorly designed fiscal policies, politicians from high-tax nations will be… – Continue reading

EU States Told To Address Widening VAT Gap

Tax Commissioner Pierre Moscovici has urged European Union (EU) member states to “take the steps needed to fight tax evasion and tax fraud,” after new figures showed that the value-added tax (VAT) gap did not narrow in 2013. According to a new Commission report, the total amount of VAT lost… – Continue reading

Phuket Expat Finance: QROPS – Back to Basics

PHUKET: In 2005 the EU Commission proposed a directive that laid the foundations for a radical change in the portability of an individual’s pension. British, Dutch and Irish nationals were given the flexibility to move certain private pensions to the jurisdiction of their choice, rather than leave it in their… – Continue reading

German businesses criticise changes to investment fund taxation

German business groups have hit out at Berlin’s plan to reform how it taxes investment funds, warning on Thursday that the proposed changes would hurt pension provisions and reduce the attractiveness of Europe’s largest economy as a place to invest. The finance ministry announced plans in July to reform the… – Continue reading


The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) today issued a judgment concluding that the different tax treatment of dividends received by parent companies of tax-integrated groups, with such treatment depending on the location where the subsidiaries are established, is contrary to EU law. The CJEU judgment therefore holds… – Continue reading

Tax scandal probe hit by setback as EU refuses to hand over documents to MEPs

The European Commission is refusing to hand over documents to MEPs investigating whether EU member states are using special tax regimes that favour large multinational corporations such as Facebook and Amazon. EU economics commissioner Pierre Moscovici wrote to the European Parliament’s special committee on tax rulings (TAXE) this week claiming… – Continue reading

Member states stonewall EP tax probe

HMRC reintroduces Australian fund to Rops listEU member states are lobbying the European Commission to prevent it from disclosing information on tax rulings to a European Parliament probe, reports the EU Observer. EU economics commissioner Pierre Moscovici, in a letter sent Monday (31 August) to the head of the parliament’s… – Continue reading

STM scopes out Australian QROPS offering as business booms

International pensions administrator STM Group is looking to offer QROPS tailored for UK expats in Australia after HMRC scrapped thousands of schemes from its approved list in July. During an interview with International Adviser, STM – which has trading offices in both Malta and Gibraltar – cited plans to expand… – Continue reading

Tax-dodger hunt neutralises Swiss bank secrecy, U.S. envoy says

Swiss banking secrecy is no longer viable as the U.S. Justice Department closes in on agreements with most of the institutions that may have helped Americans evade taxes, according to the top American diplomat in Switzerland. Negotiations with about one-third of Swiss lenders, known as Category 2 banks, to finalise… – Continue reading

Malta: A Tax Efficient Jurisdiction

Malta’s tax legislation provides for a number of benefits which can be derived by companies and their shareholders. The tax rules can lead to a tax burden in Malta which is significantly reduced or completely eliminated in certain cases, and the following are some of the key tax benefits which… – Continue reading

Promoting FDI through a tax treaty

In addition to its main function to eliminate double taxation, a tax treaty is also intended to promote foreign direct investment (FDI). Investors normally consider the treaty networks of a targeted investment country in deciding their investments. The more extensive the treaty networks, the more attractive for the investors. Extensive… – Continue reading

Uncertainty for offshore financial centres?

The Cayman Islands as one of the leading offshore financial centres have a great level of uncertainty in its future with all the recent developments around tax compliance. One looming uncertainty is the European Union’s (EU) Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (AIFMD) passport. The AIFMD is one of several measures… – Continue reading

Bulgaria to exchange information with Guernsey on tax matters

Sofia. Bulgarian Council of Ministers approved at its regular Wednesday sitting an agreement on exchange of information on tax matters signed between the governments of Bulgaria and Guernsey. The cabinet proposes the National Assembly ratifies the document, the press service of the Government announced. The agreement sets conditions for the… – Continue reading

Portugal expands its golden visa programme

New investment structures are making it easier for people from outside of the European Union seeking to live in Portugal through the country’s golden visa programme, reports the Expats Forum. The initial minimum investment of €500,000 has been reduced to €350,000 for investment in properties located in districts designated for… – Continue reading

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… – Continue reading

Beneficial ownership disclosure: when private becomes public

The most controversial part of the Fourth Anti-Money Laundering Directive (4th AMLD) is probably going to be the Register of Beneficial Ownership. The controversy arises since certain information which is considered private and which legitimately could be kept as such, will now be made available to a number of persons… – Continue reading

Malta: Taking Up Residence In Malta – January 2015

The Maltese climate, culture, history and lifestyle make Malta an attractive place to live in. The fact that this is coupled with a beneficial tax system for people taking up residence in Malta makes Malta an even more desirable location. Introduction to Malta Situated in the middle of the Mediterranean… – Continue reading

Five German-speaking finance ministers reaffirm common approach in the field of taxation, banking union and Greece

At their meeting in Salzburg, Pierre Gramegna, Austrian Finance Minister Hans Jörg Schelling, Liechtenstein Prime Minister and Finance Minister Adrian Hasler, the Swiss Finance Minister Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf and Germany’s Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble employed in particular with international tax policy, the fight against tax optimization models overlooking the BEPS Initiative… – Continue reading

Luxembourg performs poorly in anti-money laundering index

In an assessment of money laundering and terrorism financing risks, Luxembourg scored in the bottom half of a ranking of 152 countries carried out by the Basel Institute on Governance, reports the Luxemburger Wort. The institute says that its AML (Anti-Money Laundering) Index is the only such review carried out… – Continue reading

Senate economics committee releases interim report on corporate tax avoidance

What has happened? On 2 October 2014 the Senate referred an inquiry into corporate tax avoidance to the Senate Economics References Committee for inquiry and report. The Committee conducted public hearings1 in Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra and received submissions from a number of senior executives from high profile multinational corporations… – Continue reading

Cyprus: A fairer tax regime

The Cyprus government recently announced a number of tax incentives aimed at encouraging economic activity and attracting inward direct investment. At the same time it submitted a number of draft laws to the House of Representatives to implement the new provisions of the EU Parent-Subsidiary Directive, to simplify the tax… – Continue reading

Bahamas “largely compliant” says OECD Tax Policy Director

The director of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD) Centre for Tax Policy and Administration, Pascal Saint-Amans, has praised The Bahamas for its “tremendous progress” in adopting Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) standards and paving the way for automatic exchange of information between the US and The… – Continue reading

France: Dividend Withholding Tax Exemption And Specific Anti-Abuse Provision

In a recent decision (CAA Versailles, July 8, 2015, n°13VE01079), the Versailles Administrative Court of Appeals (CAA) provided an interesting illustration of the operation of the specific anti-abuse provision (i.e., different from the general abuse of law theory) attached to the dividend withholding tax exemption provided, in accordance with the… – Continue reading

Tax Transparency In European Union

On 17 June 2015, the European Commission launched a public consultation on further corporate tax transparency, which suggests a variety of tax transparency measures including country-by-country reporting (see here). The consultation is intended to gather feedback on which companies should offer more tax transparency and to whom. The deadline for… – Continue reading

Use of Estonia in U.S. International Tax Planning

According to recent estimates, Estonia, which is situated halfway between Stockholm and St. Petersburg, currently has more than 350 start-up technology companies – one for every 3,700 citizens – and the government expects this number to reach 1,000 by the year 2020. This makes Estonia the number one start-up technology… – Continue reading

Switzerland: Innovation tax breaks “key to attracting companies”

Industry lobby groups are calling on lawmakers to bolster business innovation as they debate corporate tax reforms aimed at retaining Switzerland’s status as a location for multinationals, reports Swiss Info. Parliament is currently looking at a government recommendation to replace Switzerland’s current, and controversial, cantonal corporate tax system – that… – Continue reading

Australian Committee On Tax Avoidance Issues Interim Report

The Australian Senate inquiry into tax avoidance has released its interim report, which makes 17 recommendations, including the introduction of a mandatory tax reporting code. The Senate Inquiry into Corporate Tax Avoidance was referred to the Economics References Committee in October 2014. The first hearing was conducted in April 2015,… – Continue reading

ON THE LEFT: Best way to tackle offshore tax evasion

FOR MANY YEARS countries around the world have been engaging in the automatic exchange of information in order to tackle offshore tax evasion and other forms of non-compliance. The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has been active in facilitating automatic exchange of information by creating the legal framework,… – Continue reading