News Room

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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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 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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Legislation to establish a partially public register of ultimate beneficial owners (UBOs) of companies and other entities was submitted to the Dutch parliament on 4 April. The register will be introduced as part of the Trade Register of the Chamber of Commerce in January 2020, after which all newly registered companies will have to comply....
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The World Bank has published a policy paper dated 12 March 2019 on Low Tax Jurisdictions and Preferential Regimes: Policy Gaps in Developing Economies. The paper reviews recent international initiatives and domestic policy developments aimed at helping countries to protect their tax base against erosion by individuals and companies that allocate assets to or route...
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The European Union has substantially expanded its blacklist of non-cooperative tax jurisdictions. The original list of five countries was published in December 2017, based on criteria of tax transparency and fairness developed by the EU’s Code of Conduct (Business Taxation) Group (CCG). Member States’ finance ministers this week approved the addition of another ten jurisdictions...
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Asia’s billionaire population growth is set to outpace other regions between 2018 and 2023, according to the Knight Frank’s 13th edition of The Wealth Report. The survey said the global UHNWI population is forecast to rise by 22% over the next five years. In Asia, the number of billionaires is expected to rise by 27%,...
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The Home Office has announced reforms to the golden visas schemes for wealthy investors as the UK targets dirty money in the wake of the Skripal attack. Under reforms to the Tier 1 (Investor) scheme, applicants will be required to prove they have control of the £2m they are required to have for two years,...
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Over 275 financial firms are moving a combined $1.2trn (£925bn) in assets and funds and thousands of staff from Britain to the European Union amid uncertainty over a “no-deal” Brexit, a report shows. The report by the New Financial think tank, one of the most detailed yet on the impact of Brexit on financial services, said Dublin...
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France has imposed its own tax redistribution reforms on US technology firms. The French finance minister, Bruno Le Maire, yesterday announced a Bill that would impose a 3 per cent tax on all revenues deemed to have been generated in France by digital companies with more than EUR25 million in France and EUR750 million globally. Under...
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The Swiss Federal Council has announced plans to amend the law requiring banks to automatically disclose bank account information to other countries, in accordance with the OECD Global Forum’s (the Forum’s) latest demands. Switzerland began using the OECD’s automatic exchange of information (AEOI) standard to disclose account data to certain countries in January 2017. Failure...
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Swiss crypto banks jostle to be the first to go live, and promise to do so as early as in a few months’ time. But even if they may be close to their goal, they still face hurdles and delays remain a distinct possibility. Seba, a Zug-based crypto firm, landed a double coup yesterday. Not...
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The Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) has issued proposals to bring virtual currency and cryptoasset activities under the ambit of the jurisdiction’s anti-money laundering (AML) regime, in line with the provisions of the EU Fifth Anti-Money Laundering Directive (5AMLD). However, CySEC intends to ‘gold-plate’ the directive by extending AML obligations to three activities that...
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The Swiss government is to set up a separate quota of permits for British citizens hoping to come and work in Switzerland after March 30th in the event of a no-deal Brexit. With the March 29th deadline for the UK’s departure from the European Union fast approaching, the Swiss government said on Wednesday it planned...
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Following over a year of discussions, Panama has enacted Law 70 of 2019, which classifies tax evasion as a crime. The country’s government hopes that the development will keep Panama off future OECD and EU blacklists. Tax evasion is classified in most countries as a criminal act and is seen as a predicate offense to...
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Britain and Switzerland formalized a deal on Monday to preserve trade relations between the two countries even if London opts to leave the European Union without a deal with Brussels. British international trade secretary Liam Fox and Swiss Economy Minister Guy Parmelin signed the bilateral trade agreement in Bern on Monday. “This new agreement lays the...
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The European Commission is planning to name Saudi Arabia and Panama in a list of high-risk countries that fail to fight money laundering, despite resistance from Germany, France and the UK, the Financial Times reported on Friday. The blacklist includes the Gulf kingdom and more than 20 other territories over alleged failures to fight illicit...
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29/01/2019 – The OECD has released a new publication, Harmful Tax Practices – 2018 Progress Report on Preferential Regimes, which contains results demonstrating that jurisdictions have delivered on their commitment to comply with the standard on harmful tax practices, including ensuring that preferential regimes align taxation with substance. The assessment of preferential tax regimes is part...
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Bern, 24.01.2019 – On 24 January 2019 in Davos, Switzerland and Ukraine signed a protocol of amendment to the agreement 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 and also adapts the DTA to the current treaty policy of the two...
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UK’s financial watchdog is consulting on guidance as it begins the process of defining which cryptoassets it will be responsible for regulating in a market that poses “substantial risks to consumers”. Following pressure from Parliament, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) launched a comprehensive consultation on how regulation should be applied to everything from cryptoassets and the exchanges...
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The Bahamas call it “premature”, the Cayman “unjustified”, in the eyes of the Bermuda government it is “unfortunate” and the Isle of Man was caught by “surprise”. Offshore jurisdictions from all over are protesting as the Dutch puts them on blacklist. The chief minister Howard Quayle sees no explanation for the inclusion of the Isle of...
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The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has called for the establishment of an EU-wide approach to the regulation of crypto assets and initial coin offerings (ICOs), without which it believes investors are “exposed to substantial risks”. In addition, the pan-European regulator has called for crypto assets and related activity to be brought under the...
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The new economic substance law in the British Virgin Islands came into effect on January 1st, but the financial industry is still uncertain about its requirements and has several questions about the impact the new rules will have. As mandated by the EU, the law requires offshore financial services companies registered in the BVI to set...
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Luxembourg has been ranked among the top three EU financial centres in 2018, having consolidated its role as a hub for financial institutions operating on a cross-border basis in the European market, as the country reaped rewards from an exodus of companies setting up EU offices pre-Brexit. Last year, Luxembourg’s regulators granted 80 new licences...
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Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, has launched a new fiat-to-crypto exchange on the island of Jersey as the company eyes Europe. The platform, Binance Jersey, will let traders invest in cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum using the euro or the pound. In a press release, Binance highlighted that an expansion into the European...
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The UAE cabinet has begun the implementation of 100% foreign ownership and 10-year residency visas for expats, investors and entrepreneurs. While the full ownership of companies based in the UAE is currently limited to free zones, the new law is expected to attract foreign investors looking to set up or acquire local companies in the...
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For the first time, the Commission has presented a comprehensive report on investor citizenship and residence schemes operated by a number of EU Member States. The report maps the existing practices and identifies certain risks such schemes imply for the EU, in particular, as regards security, money laundering, tax evasion and corruption. A lack of...
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On January 15, 2019, the Internal Revenue Service published its final regulations on the so-called “repatriation” or “transition” tax, announced in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act 2017 (TCJA). The one-time tax relates to foreign earnings of foreign corporations owned by US citizens. The published regulations give general rules and definitions for s965 (the section...
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The European Commission has published its consultation proposals to remove EU Member States’ veto on certain tax matters by the end of 2025, so that tax proposals would only need the support of 16 countries to become EU law. The qualified majority system will help avoid stalemates on tax legislation at European Council level, says...
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Britain’s Overseas Territories (OT) will not be forced to establish public registries of company beneficial ownership until 2023 at the earliest, rather than the 2020 deadline demanded by UK Members of Parliament (MPs), it has emerged. In May last year, a cross-party group of campaigning MPs forced an amendment to the UK’s Sanctions and Anti-Money...
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The Swiss parliament on Wednesday green-lighted the provisional application of two key bilateral agreements in a bid to ensure minimal disruption to Swiss–UK relations in the event of ‘disorderly’ Brexit. In a statement, the parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee said it had approved the provisional application of a citizen’s rights agreement and a trade agreement, both...
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Bern, 14.01.2019 – The tax information exchange agreement between Switzerland and Brazil came into force on 4 January 2019. The provisions of the agreement will apply from 1 January 2020. The tax information exchange agreement (TIEA) governs the exchange of information upon request in tax matters. It is Switzerland’s tenth TIEA to come into force. The provisions of...
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