Category: EU

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...

OECD Recommends Tax Reforms For Latvia

The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development said in a recently released report that Latvia should review inefficient elements of its tax regime. According to the report, Improving public sector efficiency for more inclusive growth in Latvia, there is scope to improve tax efficiency by lowering taxes on labor income...

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...

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...

Cypriot Transactions No Longer Face WHT In Greece

Greece has repealed a 26 percent withholding tax on business transactions with Cyprus following pressure from the European Commission. The tax, which was introduced by Greece in March, applied to transactions with Bulgaria, Cyprus, and Ireland – territories that were targeted due to their low corporate tax rates. The European...

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...

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...

Caricom: A collective bargaining unit for rights

The United States has implemented laws and policies, such as the soon-to-be-activated FATCA legislation, which have redounded to the expense of Caricom territories. The Caribbean regional integration project is often described and criticised almost entirely on the uneven benefits of trade to member countries. But, important as it is, there...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Cayman Islands confident of securing AIFMD passport, says AIMA

The Cayman Islands is confident that the pan-European marketing ‘passport’ will be extended to alternative investment funds (AIFs) set up in the jurisdiction, according to the Alternative Investment Management Association (AIMA). Cayman, where a high percentage of offshore hedge funds are registered, still awaits assessment by the European Securities and...

The fight of the EU against tax avoidance: More powers for Brussels

In its Resolution of March 25, 2015, on the Annual Tax Report (2014/2114(INI)), the European Parliament renewed its commitment to combating tax havens and tax avoidance. To be sure, most aspects of the resolution have been discussed before. Bundling these aspects into one comprehensive package, however, provides an intriguing snapshot...

European Union: The Future Of Trusts In The Context Of The 4th AML Directive

The following article by Dr Monica Galea John, partner in the Financial Services Department, analyses the manner in which the Fourth EU Anti Money Laundering Directive (the “Directive“) which has just made its way through the EU’s legislation, obliges, for the first time, EU member states to maintain central registers...

Britain and the EU: potential tax implications of the UK leaving the EU

In short… The current balance of competences between the EU and the UK on tax is quite intricate, with a tension between member states’ desire to determine their own tax systems and the EU-led aim of a level playing field. The EU most obviously influences member states’ indirect taxation (particularly...

Luxembourg proposes new corporate tax measures for 2015 and 2016

Luxembourg has proposed major corporate tax changes which would bring the Grand Duchy into line with recent updates to the Parent-Subsidiary Directive. The Luxembourg government released Bill 6847 (the Bill) on August 5 2015, which includes proposed tax measures for corporations and follows several recent announcements from Finance Minister Pierre...

The tax planner’s tightrope: morality and politics now in play

Introduction In 1934 distinguished US jurist Judge Learned Hand famously opined that “one may so arrange his affairs so that his taxes shall be as low as possible; he is not bound to choose that pattern which will best pay the Treasury; there is not even a patriotic duty to...

Tax authorities urged to be more vigilant over the super-rich

Revenue authorities need to be “vigilant” in monitoring the super-rich, according to research that called on many of them to improve their scrutiny of their richest taxpayers, reports the Financial Times. The study by the Paris-based OECD is a further sign of the pressure on tax departments to squeeze more...

Guernsey Funds Boosted By OECD Membership

A clarifying statement agreed by the UK Treasury and the Ministry of Justice about Guernsey’s position within the OECD bolsters the island’s attractiveness as a fund domicile, according to Guernsey Finance, the promotional agency for the island’s financial services industry. Representatives of Guernsey’s Government, the regulator, and industry bodies have...

Worldwide: Governments Continue To Welcome Wealthy Foreigners

With the UK announcing new tax rules for foreigners living in the country, the government has been careful not to damage the country’s appeal to wealthy foreigners. The “non-dom” tax status “plays an important role in allowing those from abroad to contribute to our economy”, says George Osborne, the UK’s...

OECD Releases Its Annual Tax Administration Report

On August 11, 2015, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) released its annual report addressing global tax administration. The OECD’s stated mission is to “promote policies that will improve the economic and social well-being of people around the world.” The OECD describes its annual report as follows: Tax...

Tax Administration 2015

Comparative Information on OECD and Other Advanced and Emerging Economies Tax Administration 2015, produced under the auspices of the Forum on Tax Administration, is a unique and comprehensive survey of tax administration systems, practices and performance across 56 advanced and emerging economies (including all OECD, EU, and G20 members). Its...

EU confirms its endorsement of Guernsey

The EU Commission has confirmed its continued endorsement of Guernsey as a cooperative jurisdiction following a meeting between officials in Brussels, reports Guernsey Finance. This news was welcomed in Guernsey, which has a strong record in meeting international standards as a cooperative and highly transparent jurisdiction – including as an...

Spain removes Barbados from blacklist

FOLLOWING A PROTEST from the Ministry of International Business, Spain has removed Barbados from its tax blacklist. This latest development comes after a recent decision was taken by members of the European Union to blacklist this country for being a non-cooperative tax jurisdiction. International Business Minister, Donville Inniss, praised the...

Malta: Tax haven or frontier market?

In order to maintain a competitive edge, Malta offers wealthy individuals and corporations advantageous tax rates, using tax breaks to attract investment or hot money, which could originate from criminal activities Malta is this year expected to register the fastest growth rate in the EU, with property prices rising year...

Cayman Islands: Fiscal Transparency In The Cayman Islands

Introduction The Cayman Islands have an extremely open, accountable and transparent government and regulatory system. Despite the dated stereotype, the Cayman Islands have promoted transparency regulations and initiatives for many years.  In May 2000, the Cayman Islands made commitments to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (the “OECD“) to...

Cyprus: Opportunities For Offshore And Alternative Investment Funds

Introduction Following the implementation of the EU Alternative Investment Fund Managers (AIFM) Directive (2011/61/EC) and associated legislation, Cyprus now lays claim to being a growth jurisdiction within the European Union for the establishment and servicing of boutique and low cost alternative investment funds based locally or offshore. The choice of...