Category: OECD

Luxembourg and Austria drop opposition to banking directive

States agree to automatic exchange of non-EU citizens’ savings account details After years of opposition, Luxembourg and Austria have agreed to back automatic exchange of savings account information on non-citizens to tackle tax fraud in the EU. Their shift was welcomed by other EU leaders meeting in Brussels and allows ministers to sign off...

Tax Avoidance/ Evasion: UK Budget’s new rules; US senators want 30 Swiss bankers extradited

Tax Avoidance/ Evasion: On Wednesday George Osborne, UK chancellor, proposed new rules in his Budget 2014 statement to reduce the opportunities for rich individuals and companies to avoid or evade personal and corporate taxes. Also this week, two prominent US senators wrote to the Justice Department to seek extradition of about 30...

Developing countries ‘lose taxes to profit shifting’

STUDIES show multinationals shift profits of $365bn a year from developing to developed countries through transfer pricing mechanisms, the South African Revenue Service (SARS) said on Tuesday. Over three years South Africa has seen “hundreds of billions of rand” leaving in royalties, management and service fees and intellectual property payments,...

Ireland’s Noonan Clarifies Corporate Tax Developments

Changes to Ireland’s residency rules, designed to eliminate mismatches between tax treaty partners, have not yet affected the residency status of any company, Finance Minister Michael Noonan has confirmed. The reforms were introduced in Noonan’s 2014 Budget and included in this year’s Finance Bill. They are intended to prevent companies...

Exporters ‘need transfer pricing clarity’

The benefits of the New Zealand Government’s desire to push export led growth, as part of its overall economic strategy, could be stymied by a lack of clarity over proposed cross-border tax changes. New research from the Grant Thornton International Business Report survey (IBR) reveals that New Zealand business leaders...

OECD urges quick action on multinational tax dodges

OECD tax director Pascal Saint-Amans has played down concerns that the United States might resist plans to make multinational companies such as Apple and Starbucks pay more tax, arguing that governments must move quickly to close multibillion-dollar loopholes or risk ordinary citizens ­losing faith in their taxation systems. Mr Saint-Amans...

United Kingdom: The OECD Base Erosion And Profit Shifting Action Plan

There has been considerable publicity in recent months on the alleged tax avoidance perpetrated by multinationals that has resulted in the Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) publishing its action plan on base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS). The action plan, consisting of 15 proposals to counter the perceived...

Apple iTax: made in Ireland, designed in the US

Apple, famous for its innovative products, is equally creative in its tax structure. From 2009 to 2012, it successfully sheltered US$44 billion from being taxed anywhere in the world, including sales generated in Australia. While there are probably some sound reasons for Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook, to claim in a US congressional...

Canada: Businesses Face More Onerous Transfer Pricing Documentation And Country-By-Country Tax Reporting

The OECD proposes to reform transfer pricing documentation for multinational enterprises and to impose onerous country-by-country (CbC) reporting obligations, including disclosure of taxes paid in each country in which a business operates, in a bid to enhance revenue authorities’ abilities to identify high risk transfer pricing situations and to make...

Liechtenstein Tax Conference Focuses On AEI

The inevitable march towards automatic exchange of information (AEI) as the Organization for Economic and Cooperation’s (OECD) global standard was just one of the issues discussed at a recent international tax conference held in Liechtenstein. During his address, Head of the OECD International Cooperation and Tax Administration Division, Achim Pross,...

New Discussion Launched on Tax Treaty Abuse

PARIS – The OECD is initiating an international discussion into measures to prevent the occurrence of profits shifting and tax evasion through the abuse and misuse of international tax treaties. Late last week the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development released a public discussion draft “Preventing the Granting Of Treaty Benefits In...

Your taxes

World is getting smaller; Hidden cash far away will soon be more transparent and seemingly nearer.   On February 13 the OECD unveiled a Common Reporting and Due Diligence Standards for the automatic exchange of tax information between tax authorities worldwide, which was endorsed by the G20 in its communique...

Gibraltar expands network of agreements for exchange of tax information

Gibraltar lawmakers unanimously approved new legislation that will dramatically expand Gibraltar’s network of agreements for the exchange of tax information. The legislation implements OECD’s Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters in Gibraltar ahead of the March 1 deadline. The move is part of the Government of Gibraltar’s policy...

Luxembourg: on-shore financial center with a commitment to privacy

Luxembourg has been widely hailed as an international investment center for years. The Association of the Luxembourg Fund Industry (ALFI) provides a number of reasons underlying the country’s designation as a top fund-industry choice. Its legal and regulatory framework for investment funds is recognized for its excellence by the global...

Russia targets offshore investors

The Russian Finance Ministry will offer companies based offshore but with operations in Russia a choice: either disclose their ultimate beneficiaries and maintain their zero tax rate, or pay taxes at the higher Russian rate. Under Russia’s current corporate tax structure, offshore beneficiaries of Russian companies are treated as de-facto...

Australia’s new transfer pricing laws overlap the thin cap rules: new challenges for taxpayers

The overlap of Australia’s new transfer pricing laws with the thin capitalization rules is causing challenges and likely duplication of analysis for taxpayers – particularly for the arm’s length amount-of-debt test. Australia legislated comprehensive new transfer pricing laws in 2012[i] and 2013.[ii]  These laws were passed in two installments: Subdivision 815-A, dealing with...

US Senate panel says Credit Suisse actively sought US tax dodgers

Credit Suisse Group , Switzerland’s second biggest bank, went to great lengths to assist US customers trying to open Swiss bank accounts and evade taxes, entertaining them at a Swiss-themed ball in New York and golf tournaments in Florida and opening a branch in the Zurich airport to serve Americans...

GIBRALTAR WIDENS TAX EXCHANGE NETWORK

Parliament unanimously approved new legislation on Friday that will dramatically expand Gibraltar’s network of agreements for the exchange of tax information. The legislation implements the OECD’s Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters in Gibraltar ahead of the March 1 deadline. The move is part of the Government of...

G20 and OECD to stop global tax havens

THE G20 and the OECD are taking steps to put an end to global tax havens and make sure multinationals and digital companies pay their fair share of tax to governments. International tax evasion is a serious problem worldwide and is reflected in the $US2 trillion ($A2.2 trillion) of accumulated...

Treasury and IRS Amend Final FATCA Regulations

The Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service released a final package of regulations Thursday to implement the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act and amend the regulations to align them with existing tax rules. FATCA was included as part of the HIRE Act of 2010, with the goal of combating...

Switzerland to back OECD tax treaty

It’s a u-turn, but unavoidable: bankers and politicians are preparing for the automatic exchange of tax information. Switzerland has helped develop the new standard, which the OECD wants to fast-track worldwide. The days when Swiss finance ministers said banking secrecy was non-negotiable and carved in stone are over. Switzerland has...

Your Taxes: OECD proposals for (or against) multinationals

In Israel, several large companies were persuaded to pay several billions of shekels of tax late in 2013, at reduced rates, on “trapped profits” after claiming tax breaks on undistributed profits. As a result, personal income-tax rates did not go up 1 percent to 2% at the beginning of 2014....

OECD Announces Revised Timeline for BEPS

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development will issue three discussion drafts and hold four public consultations before the end of May as the organization ramps up its joint project with the Group of 20 on base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS), an official announced Feb. 20. Raffaele Russo, head...

Latvia Presents Draft DTA with Cyprus

February 14 — The Latvian finance ministry on February 6 presented a draft agreement for the avoidance of double taxation and prevention of fiscal evasion with respect to taxes on income with Cyprus. The agreement aims to promote trade, foreign investment and facilitate investment from both Latvia and Cyprus. The draft DTA...

Global tax avoidance – a trillion dollar evil

In a world of widening inequality, it is perhaps the most pernicious injustice of them all. Multinational corporations and wealthy individuals avoiding tax on an unprecedented scale, shuffling assets, income and debt to the most favourable tax jurisdictions and confounding hapless authorities. It is impossible to identify exactly how much...

Irish Corporate Tax 2014: How official spin and distortion works – in short-term

Irish Corporate Tax 2014: The current Irish governance system has remained unchanged through boom and bust and the addiction to political spin, distortion and sometimes lies, works at least in the short term while in some cases it has an enduring impact. To paraphrase Abraham Lincoln, America’s 16th president, it’s possible “to...

HMRC now targeting mid-tier firms in its transfer pricing investigations, says expert

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) collected more tax from smaller businesses than large multinationals last year as a result of its investigations into firms’ transfer pricing arrangements, according to figures obtained by Pinsent Masons, the law firm behind Out-Law.com. Corporate tax expert Heather Self of Pinsent Masons said that HMRC...