Category: Privacy

Worldwide: Financial Institutions And Personal Data

Combating Tax EvasionIn recent years, there have been several high-profile prosecutions for the crime of tax evasion (for example the actor, Wesley Snipes, and the footballer, Lionel Messi). Governments around the world have been making a concerted effort in an attempt to tackle this problem. Their objective is for their respective tax administrations to work together so that taxpayers pay the correct amount of tax in the correct jurisdiction. ... - Continue reading

A Bird’s Eye View on General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a regulation in European Law on data protection and privacy for all individuals within the European Union (EU). The EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) superseded the UK Data Protection Act 1998 on May 25, 2018. Significant and wide-reaching in scope, the new… – Continue reading

BDA & Industry Respond To Paradise Papers

“Reportage about hacked data from global law firm Appleby has highlighted the substantial lack of media understanding of offshore investment structures and Bermuda’s long-time reputation for tax transparency and cooperation with international authorities,” the Bermuda Business Development Agency said. “Bermuda is committed to the exchange of relevant information to legitimate… – Continue reading

Court orders developer to reveal condo-flipper info

A Federal Court judge has approved at least one court order that will require a British Columbia developer to turn over information to tax officials about people who bought and flipped condo units before or during construction. And several similar applications are under way, reflecting the federal government’s efforts to… – Continue reading

‘Come to CRA before we go to you’: International deal designed to expose offshore tax cheats

Canada and dozens of other countries will automatically share banking information of non-residents Canadians with secret overseas bank accounts could soon find themselves at risk of being exposed by a new international agreement designed to help catch tax cheats. Under the Common Reporting Standard, dozens of countries will share information… – Continue reading

Provider: Automatic Tax Share Breaches Constitutional Rights

A veteran financial services provider yesterday warned that automatic tax information exchange could breach fundamental rights protected by the Bahamian constitution, while threatening to make this nation a “European satellite”. #Anthony Howorth, president of Euro-Caribbean Management Services, questioned whether the Government and financial services industry had “really thought through” the… – Continue reading

Offshore jurisdictions asked to embrace transparency

In a world of data breaches and political unrest, the concept of confidentiality faces a certain death, warned British Virgin Islands lawyer Tim Prudhoe on Tuesday. Rather than fear the future, the Kobre & Kim partner advised offshore tax jurisdictions to embrace transparency and find benefit in a turbulent world…. – Continue reading

Sri Mulyani: Indonesia Ready to Implement Financial Information Exchange

Finance Minister, Sri Mulyani, says that Indonesia continues to make preparations for implementing exchange of information in financial services and taxation sectors like alignment of the rules in the Law on the General Rules and Procedures of Taxation (KUP). “We will try various ways to incorporate various articles for KUP… – Continue reading

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… – Continue reading

Fingerprint payments prompt privacy fears in India

After India’s banknote ban, private companies are using the country’s biometric database to bring financial services to millions For two years, Indian officials have been trawling the country, from city slums to unelectrified villages, zapping eyeballs, scanning fingerprints and taking photographs. Last month, Indian shoppers started to see the results…. – Continue reading

Transfer of Canadian banking records to U.S. tax agency doubled last year

Documents for thousands of Canadian residents transferred under controversial FATCA legislation Banking records of more than 315,000 Canadian residents were turned over to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service last year under a controversial information sharing deal, CBC News has learned. That is double the number transferred in the deal’s first… – Continue reading

Can current offshore wealth management centres survive?

After recent scandals, many financial and wealth management centres are losing their allure and ‘mid-shore’ options are taking their place, argues Philip Marcovici. Will all existing financial and wealth management centres survive? Are tax-free secrecy havens (the “offshore world”) a feature of the past? Is there room for entry of… – Continue reading

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… – Continue reading

MEPs back automatic exchange of bank data

Tax authorities across Europe will be able to automatically share information about bank account holders, according to a Council position approved by the European Parliament on November 22. It was passed by 590 votes to 32 votes, with 64 abstentions. According to a European Parliament press release, the new rules… – Continue reading

Dumping Obama’s faux foreign tax legislation should be high on Trump’s to-do list

President-elect Donald J. Trump has stated that among his top priorities will be revocation of President Barack Obama’s misguided executive orders. Among the first such items to get the ax should be a series of legally infirm international agreements to implement a monstrosity unfamiliar to most Americans, called the Foreign… – Continue reading

Costa Rica Improves Tax Evasion Controls

Ministry of Finance in search of suspicious behavior, will focus on false suppliers, allegedl anomalous behavior of professionals, and importers (QCOTARICA) The Directorate General of Taxation (Dirección General de Tributación) has hired an external service that cross matches taxpayer data in public databases to identify suspicious patterns that might suggest… – Continue reading

Country-by-Country Confusion: Narrow BEPS Queries Abound

Global governments battling tax avoidance increasingly are pushing multinational corporations for a bigger picture of how and where they pay taxes, leading to increasingly narrow questions from company tax officers. “We have a number of entities that are disregarded for U.S. tax purposes. When I fill out the country-by-country form,… – Continue reading

FinMin to issue rules for norms under BEPS

Applicable to transfer pricing for MNCs whose consolidated annual revenue is over Rs 5,000 crore The finance ministry will issue rules and guidance to address some concerns and ambiguity over mandatory reporting norms with respect to transfer pricing for multinational companies whose consolidated annual revenue is over Rs 5,000 crore…. – Continue reading

Civil Society proposes to step up measures to fight money laundering and terrorist financing

EESC debate also calls for safeguards against misuse of data collected An EESC debate this week on fighting money laundering, terrorist financing and tax evasion called for a number of policy proposals aimed at “making the lives of criminals more difficult and their actions impossible”. The Brussels event made a… – Continue reading

Bank secrecy rules face ‘lethal blow’ in Uruguay

Gov’t sends bill to Congress to force banks to share account data automatically Described by government officials as a “lethal blow” to bank secrecy, Uruguay has sent a bill to Congress that will force banks to automatically provide the DGI tax bureau information on the accounts held by individuals and… – Continue reading

Panama Papers and US initiatives to identify entity beneficial owners

In early April 2016 files leaked from a large Panama-based law firm (known as the ‘Panama Papers’) brought to the attention of many the ways in which offshore companies and structures can be used to obscure the identity of beneficial owners, some of whom have used such entities to avoid… – Continue reading

Belize offshore secrecy ill at ease with UK politics and US authorities

How US tax inspectors fear firms and individuals are using Lord Ashcroft’s bank to hide assets and evade tax It was a stern message David Cameron took with him on his visit to the Caribbean last September: “If we’re to beat corruption, we need transparency.” And some in the region… – Continue reading

Practically Untouchable: Going Offshore Still Has Benefits

THE RECENT LEAK of millions of documents from Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca served as a reminder of what wealthy Americans should already know: Hiding assets offshore can be risky and hiding them from Uncle Sam is a crime. Yet law-abiding folks continue to stash money offshore for reasons that… – Continue reading

UK Must Comply With EU Privacy Law, Watchdog Argues

But Brexit May Upend Data Protection and Notification Rules Lawmakers and legal analysts are still struggling to analyze the impact of the June 23 referendum on Britain’s membership in the European Union (see Brexit: What’s Next for Privacy, Policing, Surveillance?). In the wake of a majority of U.K. voters opting… – Continue reading

Canada willingly makes tax deals with tax havens

The seeds of Canadian corporations hiding billions of dollars in offshore tax havens were sown more than 40 years ago, after the Canadian government pursued a series of tax treaties with tiny Caribbean and European nations. The 92 tax treaties now signed with countries such as Barbados, Jamaica and Malta… – Continue reading

CRA shared information on smaller bank accounts with IRS

Contrary to FATCA, accounts under $50,000 have been disclosed The Canada Revenue Agency has been transferring information about Canadian bank accounts worth under $50,000 U.S to the U.S Internal Revenue Service but cannot say how many accounts below that threshold have been shared with the Americans. Under a controversial information-sharing… – Continue reading

Being Named In The Panama Papers Doesn’t Mean You Broke the Law

The Panama Papers have recently drawn a great deal of investigation and public attention. Over 230,000 organizations and individuals were named as having set up offshore companies in tax haven like the British Virgin Islands, Panama, the Cayman Islands or the Bahamas. The public’s initial reaction was suspicion and anger toward… – Continue reading

US Court Dismisses Case Against FATCA Disclosures

The US District Court for the Southern District of Ohio has dismissed a case brought by Senator Rand Paul (R – Kentucky) and a group of individuals, who attempted to make several challenges to the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) and the Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts… – Continue reading

David Cameron’s finances touched a nerve – tax openness is the answer

Nearly half of people say the Prime Minister’s handling of his finances was ‘morally repugnant’, according to our opinion poll, and they support public tax returns for all As the fallout from the fallout from the Panama Papers leak begins to settle, the Prime Minister is left contemplating the damage… – Continue reading

EU threatens sanctions on money laundering, tax evasion havens

BERLIN – A European Union official threatened Thursday to sanction Panama and other nations if they don’t cooperate fully to fight money laundering and tax evasion, after a leak of data showed the small country remains a key destination for people wanting to hide money. The 11.5 million documents from… – Continue reading

Panama Papers Raise Privacy Issues, Whether This Is A ‘New Normal’

The release of the so-called “Panama Papers” – more than 11 million documents and personal files detailing financial information and offshore accounts of prominent individuals – dominated the international news cycle this week. It’s raised questions about the role of technology and the expectation of privacy. “We saw this in… – Continue reading

Showdown looming over Singapore bank secrecy laws in UBS tax evasion case

NEWARK, NEW JERSEY (BLOOMBERG) – The US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) sought to make UBS Group turn over records on an account in Singapore held by a US citizen, setting up a showdown with the city-state over its bank-secrecy laws and potentially opening a new front against offshore tax evasion… – Continue reading


Its official name is the global standard for automatic exchange of financial account information – these nine words are a simple distillation of an ambitious project to tackle global tax evasion. Known more regularly as the Common Reporting Standard (CRS), it will see government-to-government sharing of account holder information and… – Continue reading

Govt seeks feedback on NZ implementation of OECD, G20 push to ‘end banking secrecy as we have known it’

The Government has released an issues paper on New Zealand’s implementation of an OECD initiative the OECD claims will “end banking secrecy as we have known it.” The OECD’s Automatic Exchange Of Information (AEOI) initiative is setting a global standard for sharing information between countries with the aim of reducing… – Continue reading

The biggest loophole of all

Having launched and led the battle against offshore tax evasion, America is now part of the problem DEVIN NUNES raised eyebrows in 2013 when, as chairman of a congressional working group on tax, he urged reforms that would make America “the largest tax haven in human history”. Though he was… – Continue reading

Comment: Privacy v transparency – Withers’ Noseda on incoming OECD tax rules opening a new battle front

In almost every field of legal work, privacy is regarded as a primary and legitimate concern to protect the interests of individuals and organisations. This was confirmed recently when the European Court of Justice (ECJ) struck down the US-EU data exchange agreement amid fears that data transferred to the US… – Continue reading

Singapore’s Income Tax (Amendment) Bill 2016

Upcoming changes to the Exchange of Information framework hints at future adoption of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s Common Reporting Standards. The crux of Singapore’s Income Tax (Amendment) Bill 2016, which some think may signal a new chapter in this sphere, may be summarised as follows: The minister… – Continue reading

US taxes and FATCA: ‘The time for hiding is over’

FATCA. Since July 2014, the five-letter acronym has instilled dread in the hearts of American expats all around the world. “The Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) requires banks to report information to the IRS regarding all financial accounts held by American clients,” Ines Zemelman, expat tax specialist and founder… – Continue reading

Why is the Republican Party coming to the Israeli High Court for help?

According to a recent petition, the Israeli government has taken the wrong side in a world war that the US is waging over taxes of its overseas dual citizens. The financal future of 9 million Americans worldwide and hundreds of thousands living in Israel could be at stake. According to… – Continue reading

Inland Revenue (Amendment) Bill 2016 gazetted

Hong Kong (HKSAR) – The Inland Revenue (Amendment) Bill 2016 was gazetted today (January 8). “The Bill seeks to put in place a legal framework for Hong Kong to implement the new international standard for automatic exchange of financial account information in tax matters (AEOI) as promulgated by the Organisation… – Continue reading

The changing face of European taxation

World Finance spoke to Thierry Afschrift, founder of Afschrift Law Firm and university professor, about how tax lawyers can respond to a changing European environment In keeping with much of Europe, Belgium’s tax system has been subject recently to a shift of important proportions, as policymakers there look to boost… – Continue reading

Two Little Known Tax Treaties Will Lead to Substantially More Identity Theft, Crime, Industrial Espionage, and Suppression of Political Dissidents

The Protocol amending the Multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters will lead to substantially more transnational identity theft, crime, industrial espionage, financial fraud, and the suppression of political opponents and religious or ethnic minorities by authoritarian and corrupt governments. It puts Americans’ private financial information at risk…. – Continue reading

The end of financial privacy?

Over 90 jurisdictions have committed to the OECD’s Common Reporting Standard (CRS), creating comprehensive global automatic information exchange for financial assets and the entities through which such assets may be held. Over 70 jurisdictions have signed the OECD’s Multilateral Competent Authority Agreement, which implements the CRS. The CRS is scheduled… – Continue reading