News Room

The Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority FINMA is implementing the small banks regime at circular level as of 1 January 2020: small, particularly liquid and well capitalised banks are to be exempted from certain regulatory requirements. FINMA is adjusting eight FINMA circulars for this purpose. Following a pilot phase lasting several months and a consultation,...
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An important judgment by the Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal (CFA) establishes that so-called anti-Bartlett clauses in the trust deed of a Jersey family trust exempted the trustees from any liability for losses incurred in transactions by the trust’s underlying investment company (Arboit, Sutton and Wise Lords Ltd v DBS, 2019 HKCFA 45; also...
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Bern, 20.11.2019 – During its meeting on 20 November 2019, the Federal Council adopted the dispatch on amending the Federal Act on the International Automatic Exchange of Information in Tax Matters (AEOIA). The aim of the proposal is to implement the recommendations of the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes (Global Forum). Switzerland...
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Bern, 13.11.2019 – During its meeting on 13 November 2019, the Federal Council approved three ordinances to the Federal Act on Tax Reform and AHV Financing (TRAF). These amendments concerning the tax component will enter into force on 1 January 2020. The Ordinance on the Reduced Taxation of Profits from Patents and Similar Rights (Patent Box Ordinance), the...
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Federal Council adopts dispatches on amendment of double taxation agreements with New Zealand, Netherlands, Norway and Sweden Bern, 06.11.2019 – During its meeting on 6 November 2019, the Federal Council adopted the protocols of amendment to the double taxation agreements (DTA) with New Zealand, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden. The protocols implement the minimum standards for double taxation...
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Bern, 06.11.2019 – During its meeting on 6 November 2019, the Federal Council brought the Financial Services Act (FinSA) and the Financial Institutions Act (FinIA) – together with the implementing ordinances – into force as at 1 January 2020. Transitional periods of two years are provided for in principle. In the ordinances, the Federal Council has taken account...
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Bern, 23.10.2019 – During its meeting on 23 October 2019, the Federal Council adopted the dispatch on the protocol of amendment to the agreement with Iran for the avoidance of double taxation with respect to taxes on income and capital (DTA). The protocol implements the minimum standards for double taxation agreements. The protocol of amendment contains an abuse...
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The US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has told foreign financial institutions (FFIs) that they are not automatically required to close the accounts of US nationals who have not provided their tax identification number by January 2020. US nationals, especially those living abroad, have become increasingly nervous about provisions of the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act...
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Switzerland has acknowledged the fact that European Union will remove the country from its grey list for tax havens following a reform of the corporate tax system. “Switzerland meets and implements international tax standards. The European Union has acknowledged this…” said a statement,external link released by the State Secretariat for International Finance (SIF), on Thursday. The country, which is a major EU economic partner, had...
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Peru’s tax authority has set out the procedure for disclosing the ultimate beneficial ownership (UBO) of entities, with individuals deemed beneficial owners if they hold at least 10 percent of an entity’s capital (Legislative Decree 1372). The legislation was enacted in August 2018; however, the tax authority (Superintendencia Nacional de Aduanas y de Administración Tributaria,...
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During its meeting on 20 September 2019, the Federal Council decided to immediately suspend the automatic exchange of financial account information (AEOI) with Bulgaria due to a problem with the country’s data security. The systems and databases of Swiss tax administrations and financial institutions are not affected by this incident. The first automatic exchange on...
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Members of the public in the Cayman Islands can now view the names of current directors of companies incorporated there, following the coming into effect of the Companies (Amendment) Law 2019 and Limited Liability Companies (Amendment) Law 2019 on 1 October. The legislation is required to meet the recommendations set out in the Caribbean Financial...
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The total number of trusts and estates registered for self-assessment declined by 6 per cent to 149,000 in 2017-2018, continuing the downward trend that has seen the numbers fall by 29 per cent since 2005. However, trusts’ total declared income for the year rose 12 per cent to GBP2.73 billion year-on-year. Chargeable gains were unchanged...
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Bern, 20.09.2019 – On 20 September 2019 in Bern, Switzerland and the United States of America exchanged the instruments of ratification of the protocol of amendment to their double taxation agreement in the area of taxes on income (DTA). The protocol, which entered into force on the same day, represents a milestone in tax relations between Switzerland and...
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The Swiss Data Protection Commissioner has issued a legal complaint against the Finance Ministry for sending the names of bank employees, lawyers, accountants and other third parties to the United States to assist with tax evasion investigations. The Swiss Supreme Court has already issued a ruling that bans the indiscriminate disclosure of people’s names without...
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Third party actors, such a bank employees, lawyers and accountants, should not be named when Switzerland hands over tax data to other countries, the Swiss federal administrative court has ruled. The verdict upholds a complaint from the Swiss data commissioner’s office against a finance ministry decision to include the names of such professionals. People who...
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No-deal Brexit? That’s no problem, at least for Britain’s wealthiest people. Their bigger fear is leftist firebrand Jeremy Corbyn. For more than a year, some of the most affluent have prepared for a hard separation from the European Union, making clear they can take a chaotic Brexit in their stride. But the prospect of a...
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Neobank, the German online bank, has launched its presence in Switzerland. Here is, what the company expects to achieve in the heart of European banking. Georg Hauer, general manager at smartphone-bank N26 and responsible for the German, Austrian and Swiss regions, wants to get Swiss customers fall in love with his banking services – they...
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The Indian government signed 26 advance pricing agreements (APAs) in the first quarter of the 2019 financial year, according to a government release. Multinational companies negotiate APAs with the Indian government to lock in their tax rates for moving money out of their Indian operations. An executed APA is designed to avoid the notoriously long...
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OECD, 30 August 2019 – The information technology system of the National Revenue Agency (NRA) of Bulgaria was hacked and a significant amount of its data was provided to the media on 15 July 2019. Bulgaria subsequently confirmed that this data was from NRA systems and that it included data automatically exchanged with international treaty partners...
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Luxembourg has deferred the deadline for registration of company beneficial ownership from 31 August to 30 November 2019. The jurisdiction is already far beyond the deadline set by Article 30 of the EU Fourth Anti-Money Laundering Directive (4AMLD), which required all EU Member States to implement central registers of beneficial ownership by June 2017. Luxembourg...
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(CNS): Two pieces of legislation have now come into force that will tighten up the regulatory regime for the management of private trusts and their administrators. The Private Trust Companies (Amendment) regulations, 2019 provides clearer definitions for terms given to those involved in the administration of trusts, while the Trusts (Transparency) Regulations, 2019 lists the information that...
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ZURICH (Reuters) – Switzerland’s highest court has rejected Italy’s request for the return of an oil painting attributed by some to Leonardo Da Vinci, ruling no Swiss laws were broken when the work was brought over the border. Titled “Portrait of Isabella d’Este” and dated to the 16th century, the painting became the subject of...
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Welcome to the August 2019 edition of the HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) Trusts and Estates Newsletter. Please note we do not have a mailing list for the newsletter. Agent Toolkits Tax agents and advisers play an important role in helping their clients to make sure their tax returns are correct, but many agents do...
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From April 2020, non-resident companies with income from UK property will stop being charged UK income tax and will instead be subject to the UK’s corporation tax regime. HMRC is expected to publish further guidance in due course; in the meantime details of the policy change can be found in an HMRC policy paper. The companies...
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From the end of 2019, expatriate US persons must provide their US tax identification number (TIN) to their local banks, or risk having their bank accounts closed or frozen. Under the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), which came into effect in July 2014, all foreign financial institutions (FFIs) must identify their US clients and...
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The Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority FINMA has published guidance on how it applies Swiss anti-money laundering rules to financial services providers supervised by FINMA in the area of blockchain technology. FINMA has also issued banking licences to two new blockchain service providers. FINMA recognises the innovative potential of new technologies for the financial industry....
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The Bahamas’ companies registrar general is striking thousands of companies from the register because they are inactive and have not complied with the rules on fees and filings for many years. The action results from the jurisdiction’s new beneficial ownership reporting regime, as set out last November in the Register of Beneficial Ownership Act, 2018....
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Malta has incorporated certain provisions of the EU Fifth Anti-Money Laundering Directive into its beneficial ownership registration regulations. From 1 January 2020, any person can inspect the name, month and year of birth, nationality, country of residence and the extent and nature of the beneficial interest of the beneficial owners of a company, without having...
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Ireland’s central register of beneficial ownership of companies was officially launched on 29 July, after a postponement allowing certain clarifications to be made regarding beneficial owners’ personal public services (PPS) numbers. Companies that existed before 22 June 2019 must report their beneficial ownership information to the registrar before 22 November 2019, while those formed after...
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The Tel Aviv District Court has rejected the Israel Tax Authority’s (ITA’s) position that the transfer of real property into an Israeli residents’ trust is taxable as a sale of a right in land. The case concerned some Canadian residents who established a trust for their Israeli granddaughter, and transferred several Israeli properties into it...
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The number of non-domiciled taxpayers in the UK fell by 13.5 per cent to 78,300 in the 2017-2018 tax year, according to recent figures from HMRC. The dramatic fall in numbers coincided with the introduction of wide-ranging reforms to the taxation of resident non-domiciled individuals, including rules introduced in April 2017, under which long-staying non-doms...
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Jakarta. The government is prioritizing revisions to the corporate income tax law, seeking to cut the tax rate from 25 percent to 20 percent to attract more investment, Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati said on Wednesday. “We’re working out how quick [this new policy] can be implemented and how much it will impact fiscal risks,” Sri Mulyani said, as quoted by CNN...
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The Swiss Federal Court has decided that data on around 40,000 clients of Swiss bank UBS should be handed to Paris tax authorities. The decision has been described as key for the country’s banking sector. Judges approved the move by three to two, it was announced on Friday. The court said external link that France’s administrative assistance request was...
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The United States Senate on Wednesday ratified a double-taxation agreement (DTA) with Switzerland, ending years of stalemate. The agreement, which required two-thirds of votes, was accepted by a large majority, according to the US Senate websiteexternal link. This accord, designed to meet international standards on the exchange of bank data, had been blocked for ten...
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The trustees of a GBP80-million discretionary settlement executed in 1968 have obtained court permission to treat one of the settlor’s descendants as a beneficiary, although she was born before her parents married. The trust’s current governing deed requires the trust fund to pay the income for life to the settlor’s grandchildren, RS and TU (all...
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The United Arab Emirates has introduced economic substance legislation, Cabinet Resolution No. 31 of 2019, with the aim of being removed from the European Union’s blacklist of uncooperative jurisdictions. The blacklisting was announced in March, after the EU’s Code of Conduct Group (Business Taxation)  (CCG) named the UAE as one of the jurisdictions it considered...
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Brazil and Uruguay have included provisions to tackle base erosion and profit shifting in a new double tax agreement, signed on June 7, 2019. The Brazilian Government said the conclusion of the agreement reflects the country’s efforts to expand and modernize its network of tax agreements. It has now signed 37 double tax pacts, of...
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HMRC’s powers to demand information from non-residents have been further extended by the First-tier Tax (FTT) tribunal to include ex parte third-party information notices. Until this year, it was generally thought that HMRC’s powers to compel disclosure do not extend to individuals resident in overseas jurisdictions. That view was originally supported by the First-tier Tax...
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Italy’s special tax regime for newly resident workers (lavoratori impatriati) has been extended by decree this month, significantly broadening its size and scope. The tax exemption for Italy-sourced income is no longer restricted to qualified professionals, managers, executives or high-prestige entrepreneurs. It is now open to any workers who were non-resident during the two previous...
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The Luxembourg tax authority is the first to officially announce sanctions against jurisdictions designated by the European Union as ‘non-cooperative’ for tax purposes. Under Circular LG-A no.64, Luxembourg resident companies must state in their tax return if they have entered into transactions with ‘related enterprises’ in jurisdictions included on the EU blacklist, starting from the 2018...
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On May 29, 2019, the Brazilian Federal Senate approved Provisional Measure No. 869/2018 (Medidia Provisória No. 869/2018, MP), which amends the General Data Protection Act (Lei Geral de Proteção de Dados No. 13,709/2018, LGPD). The measure creates a National Data Protection Authority (Autoridade Nacional de Proteção de Dados, ANPD) as part of the LGPD. The...
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Bern, 29.05.2019 – During its meeting on 29 May 2019, the Federal Council adopted the dispatch on the introduction of the automatic exchange of financial account information (AEOI) with 19 further partner states. Entry into force is planned for 2020 with the first exchange of data in 2021. Furthermore, the Federal Council has approved the report on the...
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Swiss voters have largely accepted a reform of corporate tax rules that will scrap preferential treatment for multinational firms. Sunday’s result also means a financial boost for the country’s ailing pension system. Two years after voters rejected a similar idea to reform corporate tax, the issue – this time linked controversially to pensions – received a clear thumbs-up....
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The UK government is consulting on new proposals to increase the amount of personal information that companies are required to disclose to Companies House, and to allow it to be cross-checked against other registers. Companies House already maintains a public register of beneficial ownership, as well as basic information about companies and their officers. The...
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Some 108,000 high-net-worth individuals (HNWI) migrated from their home countries in 2018, an increase from 95,000 the previous year, according to the AfrAsia Bank Global Wealth Migration Review 2019, conducted with market research and consultancy firm New World Wealth. Australia was the leading destination, welcoming about 12,000 HNWIs during the year. The US came second...
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After striking a deal last week, the European Parliament and European Council presidency will enhance anti-money laundering checks (AMLs), and the new legislation specifically includes the art industry for the first time. The legislation follows warnings made by the EU Parliament committee in 2018, which noted there was a “lack of political will to tackle”...
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A taxpayer can be regarded as holding money in a bare trust for a relative, even if no trust deed or other formal trust documentation can be produced, the First-tier Tax Tribunal has decided. The individual concerned was an NHS midwife called Lily Tang, whose parents-in-law lived in Hong Kong. In November 2013, HMRC learned...
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WASHINGTON—North Carolina’s solicitor general told the Supreme Court that his state is entitled to tax residents who are beneficiaries of trusts created outside the state, even if they haven’t received payments from the trust. How the Supreme Court rules in the case, known as North Carolina Department of Revenue v. Kimberly Rice Kaestner 1992 Family...
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HMRC has published guidance clarifying the registration requirements to be imposed on non-UK resident corporate investors making a direct or indirect disposal of UK commercial property. As of this week, most such investors must pay UK corporation tax on capital gains from direct or indirect sales of UK commercial real estate, and need to register...
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