Category: EU

This is the year for Europe to put its tax house in order

We commissioners have vowed to clamp down on evasion and fraud to make sure all companies pay their fair share 2014 was the year the world discovered there is no whisky in a double Irish and no cheese in a Dutch sandwich. Discussions about fair taxation and tax avoidance featured… – Continue reading

EU Details Tax Case Against Amazon — 3rd Update

BRUSSELS– Inc.’s “cosmetic” tax arrangements in Luxembourg may give the U.S. online retailer an illegal advantage over competitors, European Union regulators said Friday, marking the latest phase of a widening crackdown on alleged sweetheart tax deals for multinationals. Amazon is one of four companies whose tax affairs are being… – Continue reading

IRS Switches On FATCA Tax Information Swapping

The Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) information exchange network has gone live and is receiving the first reports on the financial affairs of US taxpayers. The online network links tax authorities in 110 countries and more than 145,000 financial institutions with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Financial institutions outside… – Continue reading

‘Sweetheart’ tax deals inquiry a setback for Jean-Claude Juncker

High quality global journalism requires investment. Please share this article with others using the link below, do not cut & paste the article. See our Ts&Cs and Copyright Policy for more detail. Email to buy additional rights. The European Parliament is poised to launch a full inquiry into sweetheart… – Continue reading

MEPs urge Schulz to set up inquiry committee on tax evasion

In the light of the recent revelations about Luxembourg tax avoidance schemes for multinational corporations, a quarter of the European Parliament on Wednesday (14 January) backed the Greens’ proposal to set up a full inquiry committee on tax evasion and dumping. Managing to get the required support of 188 MEPs… – Continue reading

Ireland: ‘Knowledge box’ patent tax rate expected to be 5%

Ireland: The Department of Finance will publish a consultation document Wednesday on the proposed ‘knowledge box’ patent tax regime that will be enacted in replacement of the Double Dutch tax avoidance scheme. Late last year Department officials hinted that a 5% rate was under discussion to match the Dutch rate…. – Continue reading

Ireland: Changes To Irish Corporate Residence Rules

On October 14 2014, Ireland’s Minister for Finance (the Minister) announced changes to Ireland’s corporate residence rules. Following much speculation, the Minister confirmed that Ireland would change its rules to restrict the ability of Irish incorporated companies to be treated as non-Irish resident. Under existing Irish law, an Irish incorporated… – Continue reading

Security and ‘Juncker Plan’ at heart of debate with Council president Tusk

“The European Strategic Investment Plan is not the silver bullet. But if anyone has ideas to overcome the economic crisis with one stroke, stand up please,” said European Council President Donald Tusk in the debate on the results of the December European Council, which also covered tax avoidance and —… – Continue reading

Greece’s new anti-corruption minister battles tax evasion scourge

(ATHENS) – Greece’s new anti-corruption tsar Panagiotis Nikoloudis has been tasked with recovering 2.5 billion euros ($2.8 billion) for the debt-strapped government’s coffers through a ruthless crackdown on tax evasion. The former Supreme Court deputy prosecutor and Greece’s first ever anti-corruption minister told AFP he was itching to tackle the… – Continue reading

UK Parliamentary Hearing Held On BEPS Response

British Members of Parliament (MPs) have questioned the Government’s unilateral decision to push for the introduction of a Diverted Profits Tax (DPT) ahead of the completion of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development’s (OECD’s) work on base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS). In a debate held in Parliament on… – Continue reading

Attorney General to probe Leumi US tax evasion

The Attorney General will examine the civil and criminal implications of the bank’s conduct in helping US citizens evade US taxes. Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein is to examine the Bank Leumi (TASE: LUMI) tax evasion affair, in which the Israeli bank helped American customers evade US taxes. Weinstein is consulting… – Continue reading

LuxLeaks Scandal Reveals International “Race to the Bottom”

Countries are competing to lower their tax rates to please the corporate giants, but the result is a massive collective loss of revenue. Only international coordination can wipe out the practice and defeat the negative influence of the Big Four accounting firms. Tax havens have long existed in the popular… – Continue reading

Italy Introduces Patent Box

As a means of encouraging the development of intellectual property (IP) in Italy, rather than elsewhere, a “patent box” preferential tax regime has been introduced with effect from January 1, 2015, at the same time as a restructuring of the country’s research and development (R&D) tax credit system. Following the… – Continue reading

Collins declines to comment on Ansbacher letter to PAC

FORMER Minister for Justice Gerry Collins has declined to comment on correspondence from his solicitors accusing the Public Accounts Committee of “exceeding its jurisdiction” in any further pursuit of allegations he had an Ansbacher offshore account. Mr Collins, as well as another retired Limerick minister, Des O’Malley, earlier this month… – Continue reading

Digital tax increase to take effect in Europe

Europe’s tax showdown could be headed straight to people’s wallets. With the new year, a change in fiscal rules in the European Union is increasing the tax on many purchases of digital content like e-books and smartphone applications. Under the new rules, first approved in 2008, the tax rate on… – Continue reading

Don’t run before you can walk – Russian deoffshorisation uncertainties

The new deoffshorisation legislation that passed with lightning speed through Russia’s Parliament and then hastingly signed by President Putin in the time span of a week and a half, comes into force on January 1, 2015. The new deoffshorisation legislation that passed with lightning speed through Russia’s Parliament and then… – Continue reading

LuxLeaks: An opportunity?

BRUSSELS – As political honeymoons go, it was short and ended abruptly. Just one week into his job as European Commission president, Jean-Claude Juncker was broadsided by a series of newspaper articles outlining the depth and breadth of corporate tax avoidance schemes in Luxembourg. Schemes thought up and enacted while… – Continue reading

Taxing times

Businesses in the island’s vital financial services are gearing up for ‘substantial changes’ dealing with tax. That was one of the important messages to come out of a seminar organised by KPMG in the island. More than 200 experts attended the event which covered a series of changes in property… – Continue reading

Zero corporation tax: the arguments for and against

Once a niche proposal, the recent public focus on corporate tax avoidance has sparked real interest in the idea of eliminating corporation tax altogether. Surprisingly, the statistics suggest that employees and other stakeholders may also benefit from this In winter 2012, hundreds of activists packed inside their local Starbucks after… – Continue reading

Swiss banks target Israeli tax evaders

Swiss banks are training their crosshairs on Israeli customers. Legal sources said that in the past two weeks, the large banks in Switzerland have begun sending many queries to their Israeli customers demanding confirmation either that the assets deposited with the banks were reported to the Israeli tax authorities, or… – Continue reading

Asia to test bond record again in 2015

[HONG KONG] Asia could set another record for international bond issues in 2015 if Chinese companies continue to borrow offshore at the same voracious pace they did this year, while bankers expect a heavy redemption schedule and larger pipelines from India and Indonesia to lift activity. Barclays is forecasting volumes… – Continue reading

News Round Up

Currently, there is a tendency among those who take an interest in international tax developments to look to the future and try to guess how the international tax landscape will look in, say, three of four years, once countries begin to implement the OECD’s base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS)… – Continue reading

Canada transparency laws force ASX companies to disclose tax bills

Two Australian mining companies will be forced to disclose how much tax they pay in every country around the world by new transparency laws introduced in Canada. Paladin Energy and OceanaGold, both dual-listed in Australia and Canada, will have to comply with new Canadian laws requiring all oil, gas and… – Continue reading

The Vatican Bank, Christmas Cheer, And FATCA

For centuries the inner workings of the Vatican Bank have been cloaked in secrecy. That was before Pope Francis, who has pledged to restore public confidence in the administration of the Roman Catholic Church. This week we learned the United States and the Holy See have brokered a FATCA agreement… – Continue reading

Worldwide Exchange of Tax Information: OECD Expands upon FATCA to Add New Requirements

While the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) has focused worldwide attention on U.S. efforts to create a mandatory cross-border exchange of tax information, the enactment of FATCA was not an isolated occurrence. For more than a decade, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has been trying to… – Continue reading

Lots of BEPS Output – What Outcome?

*Ernst & Young LLP, New York, NY The BEPS beat plays on. Congratulations to the OECD for meeting (mostly) the ambitious goals for release of their reports on seven action items in September 2014 – right on schedule on September 16. The documents released on September 16 relate to Action… – Continue reading

Luxembourg Supports EU Tax Ruling Reforms

The Luxembourg Government is to provide the European Commission with a list of the tax rulings issued by its tax authorities, along with a list of the beneficiaries of its concessionary tax regime for intellectual property (IP) income. Luxembourg Prime Minister Xavier Bettel announced that the decision had been made… – Continue reading

Gramegna Calls LuxLeaks ‘Game Changer’ for Tax-Deal Probe

The disclosure of thousands of pages of confidential documents on Luxembourg tax deals was a “game changer” that led European Union regulators to expand their probe of such accords to all 28 nations in the bloc, Luxembourg Finance Minister Pierre Gramegna said. The EU’s expanded investigation “is not a surprise… – Continue reading

Corporations reached secret deals with Luxembourg to avoid tax payments

More leaked documents relating to tax avoidance schemes involving Luxembourg’s government under the leadership of Jean-Claude Juncker, now President of the European Union (EU) Commission, have intensified the political crisis surrounding the EU. It comes at a time of growing opposition to the pro-business EU and the vicious austerity cuts… – Continue reading

Spain pushes for taxation debate at EU summit

BRUSSELS – It was supposed to be all about investments and Russia, but the issue of tax avoidance is likely to creep onto the EU summit agenda on Thursday (18 December). In the draft summit conclusions circulated among EU ambassadors on Wednesday, there is one paragraph mentioning the “urgent need… – Continue reading

OECD document on international tax dispute resolution is “disappointing”, says expert

A discussion document on making dispute resolution mechanisms in international tax disputes more effective is does not provide enough answers to the questions it raises, an expert has said.19 Dec 2014 Tax Disputes and Investigations Tax Corporate tax International tax Europe Asia Pacific Middle East Africa It is “a disappointing… – Continue reading

uncker turns tax debate away from Luxembourg and on to entire EU

Debate on multinational tax avoidance widens The surprise announcement by the European Commission that it is to extend its request for information on tax rulings to all European Union member states has the potential to significantly shift the terms of the debate on multinational tax avoidance. The timing of the… – Continue reading

Australia Decides to Keep Bitcoin Sales Tax, Risks Double Taxation

In a blow to Bitcoin’s international presence, Australia has confirmed it will keep its controversial sales tax policy for certain Bitcoin transactions. Following the Australian Tax Office (ATO) issuing the initial legislation earlier this year, considerable community opposition arose, with domestic exchange Coinjar even forced to relocate to the UK… – Continue reading

Commission To Probe All EU Advance Tax Rulings

The European Commission has announced that its ongoing inquiry into advance tax rulings will be expanded to cover all European Union member states. The Commission said on December 17 that it will ask member states to confirm whether they offer tax rulings. If they do, they will be requested to… – Continue reading

The Best Job in the World

This is going to be the plum job for any international tax practitioner: Competent Authority for the Republic of Ireland. It seems pretty clear that the Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) project will meet its announced deadline of the end of 2015 to produce final reports on all of… – Continue reading

EU shines light on dirty money with central registers

The European Union has agreed rules to stamp out tax evasion and stop dirty money from criminal gangs or terrorism finance being channelled through anonymous companies. EU states and the European Parliament struck the agreement on Tuesday evening to update the bloc’s anti-money laundering rules, a statement from parliament’s economic… – Continue reading

Luxembourg accedes to EU antitrust demand to divulge tax data

(Reuters) – Luxembourg acceded on Thursday to the demand of the European Commission to release data to further EU antitrust regulators’ investigation into whether it allowed multinationals to pay excessively low taxes. The European Commission launched investigations this year into whether U.S. retailer Amazon (AMZN.O) and a unit of Italian… – Continue reading

EU Leaders to Urge Stepped-Up Fight Against Tax Evasion

EU leaders attending today’s summit in Brussels will call for a renewed push against tax evasion as cash-strapped nations seek more ways to refill depleted government coffers. “There is an urgent need to advance efforts in the fight against tax avoidance and aggressive tax planning, both at the global and… – Continue reading

Luxembourg budget 2015 – main tax measures at a glance

Advance Agreements The so-called tax rulings and advance pricing agreements will be formalised by the introduction of appropriate provisions in the Luxembourg tax laws. By this means, Luxembourg will be able to offer as from 1 January 2015 a unified system providing taxpayers with legal certainty and a consistent and egalitarian… – Continue reading