Monthly Archives October 2009

Swiss Banks in Italy Raided

October 30, 2009 Offshore BankingOffshore TaxationTaxation in ItalyTaxation in Switzerland  No comments

The Italian branches of Swiss banks were raided by the Guardia di Finanza on October 30th.

According to Italian authorities, the operation was aimed at ensuring that all relevant taxation data was being provided by Swiss banks to the Italian tax authorities. In total, 76 branches were visited across northern Italy by the Italian Financial Police, Guardia di Finanza, and tax inspectors from the Agenzia delle Entrate, Italy’s Inland Revenue Services equivalent.

While no banks opted to comment on the raids, the Swiss government summoned an Italian ambassador on the same day to justify the action...

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Spanish Takeover Tax Break Illegal

October 29, 2009 Taxation in EUTaxation in Spain  No comments

The European Commission (EC) has declared that a tax break available to Spanish companies participating in corporate takeovers is illegal and should be revoked.

Following an investigation initiated in 2007, the EC concluded on the 28th of October that tax breaks received by Spanish companies completing corporate takeovers of non-Spanish entities within the European Union, are illegal. Instated in 2002, the law allowed Spanish companies to deduct the goodwill element of a takeover transaction. The EC has decided that it will require any instances of the tax break being utilized after the commencement of the investigation to be reversed. All transaction involving the tax scheme that occurred before December 21st, 2007, will not be altered.

The Spanish Government has made it clear that it is...

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IRS Sets Sights on High Wealth Individuals

October 28, 2009 Offshore BankingOffshore TaxationTaxation in USA  No comments

Dough Shulman, US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Commissioner, has revealed that the department has initiated a new audit program aimed at catching high-wealth tax cheats.

Speaking at a conference for the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) on the 26th of October, in Washington DC, Doug Shulman announced the creation of the Global High Wealth Industry Group (GHWIG). According to the IRS Commissioner, the unit will conduct “a small number” of audits on individuals with assets “in the neighborhood of $30 million”, with the primary aim of weeding out tax cheats who hide behind complex financial structures.

While claimed to be operational for a number of months, the new unit is expected to begin its initial audits in November...

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Slew of Green Taxes Recommended for UK

October 27, 2009 Taxation in UK  No comments

The Green Fiscal Commission (GFC) is recommending that the UK government instates a number of new “green“ taxes.

In a report released on October 26th, the GFC recommended that the UK government implements a set of new tax measures aimed at reducing carbon emissions and creating new jobs. The report is the conclusion of a two-year study, which examined similar attempts across Europe.

The GFC is recommending a total of £150 billion in new taxes. The list of ideas includes a £300 rise in levies on new vehicle purchases. The tax will increase by an extra £300 per year, for the next ten years. Under the GFC recommendations, fuel duties would be tripled over the space of three years. Increases in taxes on household energy were also mooted.

The GFC has stated that the increases should be a...

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New Zealand Set to Put Pressure on Evasion

October 26, 2009 Taxation in New Zealand  No comments

The New Zealand Inland Revenue Department (IRD) and Government figures have given clear indication that the country will see increased pressure on tax evaders in 2010.

According to a submission from the IRD to the government supported Tax Working Group, released October 25th, the government is losing approximately NZ$300 million in taxation receipts annually through money hidden in trust accounts. The total tax evasion amount is only increased when companies created purely for the purpose of tax avoidance are considered. Statements by Bill English, New Zealand Finance Minister, have supported this, with claims being made by him that the government will take action in 2010 to close loopholes on those that it considers to be “tax dodgers”.

Further, the IRD report stated that since the in...

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