Wealthiest Hong Kong Investors Skip Property Tax

August 17, 2018 Taxation in Hong Kong

Hong Kong housingHONG KONG – Shell companies are helping Hong Kong’s wealthiest people pay less to purchase houses and property.

Hong Kong has some of the most expensive property and housing in the world, and recent media reports are indicating that some wealthy investors and buyers are managing to bypass the taxes aimed at reducing house prices.

Under the standard rules applicable for most locals, property purchases carry with them a stamp duty of 15 per cent, or an even higher 30 per cent duty of the purchaser is not a local.

However, some wealthy locals have been reducing the applicable rate of stamp duty to as low as 0.2 per cent.

The reduced rate applies if the property in question is held in a company, and the buyer purchases the company and not the underlying asset.

Share sales are eligible for ...

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Double Alcohol New Zealand Tax, Say Academics

August 16, 2018 Taxation in New Zealand

Alcohol taxes in New ZealandWELLINGTON – Heavy drinkers and alcoholics need to pay more tax to cover the costs they cause New Zealand.

On August 15th the capital of New Zealand, Wellington, played host to a conference organized by Alcohol Action and the Massey University’s Shore and Whariki Research Centre, where several academics and experts called for an increase to the rate of alcohol taxes in the country.

It was claimed that alcohol harm costs the country as much as NZD 7.85 billion each year, in the form of factors such as unemployment, labour losses, costs to the health system, car crashes, accidents, and other health problems associated with alcohol consumption.

In New Zealand approximately 20 per cent of drinkers are classed as light drinkers, and 60 per cent are classified as moderate drinkers, with the re...

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Zambia to Tax WhatsApp and Skype

August 15, 2018 Taxation in Zambia

Whatsapp taxLUSAKA – Zambia wants to charge a tax on WhatsApp calls, in order to collect funds to compensate traditional telecoms businesses.

Earlier this week the government of Zambia announced that it intends to implement a daily tax on the use of internet calling services such as WhatsApp or Skype.

The new tax would be charged at a rate of ZMK 0.30 per day for each device that is used to access the relevant communications and calling networks.

The tax is targeted specifically at calling, and would not be charged if a call-capable network, such as Facebook Messenger, is used but no calls are made.

It was explained by the Information Minister Dora Siliya that the transition by many individuals to digital calls is beginning to prove troublesome for the traditional telecommunications industry.

She fu...

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Tax Havens Aid Illegal Fishing and Deforestation

August 14, 2018 Tax Havens

DeforestationSTOCKHOLM – Tax havens are facilitating deforestation and illegal fishing but allowing the perpetrators to hide from taxes and legal repercussions.

On August 13th the Stockholm Resilience Centre issued a public release which details the results of research on the link between tax havens and illegal fishing and deforestation.

The researchers found that approximately 70 per cent of all vessels which are known to have been involved with illegal, unreported, or unregulated fishing around the world were flagged and registered in jurisdictions widely recognized as being tax havens.

In many cases, the jurisdictions in which the fishing vessels are registered are not known to routinely prosecute or penalize vessels which are found to be in breach of international maritime laws.

Further, the res...

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NZ Government Wants Tobacco Tax, Not Vapes

August 13, 2018 Taxation in New Zealand

Taxes on vapes in NZWELLINGTON – Despite being healthier than smoking, tobacco products are being labelled as being just as dangerous in New Zealand, all for the sake of tax revenues.

On August 10th the New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union (TPU), a tax advocacy group, issued a press release claiming that the government of New Zealand is choosing to pursue tax revenues instead of helping smokers kick the habit.

The TPU claims that regulations will require tobacco-alternatives to be packaged in a manner which would deer smokers from using the healthier alternatives.

Tobacco alternatives sold in New Zealand will soon be required to be labelled with the same anti-smoking labels as regular cigarettes, and the requirement extends to non-combustion products such as e-cigarettes, heated tobacco and snus.

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