Category Taxation in Asia-Pacific

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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Singapore Poised to Join OECD White List

October 20, 2009 International Tax CooperationTaxation in Singapore  No comments

With an amendment to its taxation laws, the jurisdiction of Singapore is verged on the edge of becoming an OECD White listed country.

The 19th of October saw the Singaporean government pass a new bill with the aim of combating cross-border tax evasion and ensuring that the nation’s laws are in compliance with international taxation standards. Following guidelines mooted by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the country’s Income Tax Act has been altered to allow other complying nations to request information from Singapore concerning possible cases of tax evasion.

Currently being placed on the OECD’s “Grey list” of nations, Singapore is deemed to be a country which has agreed to improve its taxation transparency but is yet to substantially apply appropria...

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ASB Could Settle in IRD’s Tax Hunt

October 19, 2009 Taxation in New Zealand  No comments

New Zealand’s ASB bank has given indicators that it may settle with the Inland Revenue Department (IRD) in their structured financing tax evasion case against the bank.

Warwick Bryan, Investor Relations Analyst for the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA), made indications that ASB Bank might opt for an out of court settlement with the IRD, who is pursuing the bank for allegedly evaded tax liabilities.

While commenting on Westpac Bank’s loss of a similar case against the IRD, Warrick Bryan said that there had not been a court hearing date set for ASB. Further, he claimed that the bank might not receive a date in the current fiscal year, and went on to say “But then it may never go to court and it may be settled in some way”.

At the same conference, it was revealed that ASB expects its to...

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New Zealand Bank Guilty of Serious Tax Evasion

October 12, 2009 Offshore BankingOffshore TaxationTaxation in New Zealand  No comments

The New Zealand branch of Westpac Banking Corp has been found guilty by the New Zealand High Court of tax evasion, the legal action concerns a total of NZD918 million.

Court proceedings revolved around adjustments made to returns filed by Westpac in which a number of transactions were claimed and used to reduce the overall tax liability. The IRD contested that these were carried out purely with the purpose of tax evasion and subsequently assessed the bank’s tax liability higher. The tax figure dispute consists of NZD586 million base and a further NZD332 charged as interest.

The assessment revolved around nine international structured financing transactions which took place between 1998 and 2002...

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Capital Gains Tax Unlikely in New Zealand

September 15, 2009 Taxation in New Zealand  No comments

Comments made by the New Zealand Prime Minister has effectively put an end to discussion surrounding the introduction of a Capital Gains Tax in New Zealand.

In a statement made on the 14th of September, John Key, New Zealand Prime Minister, cast serious doubt on the idea of introducing a capital gains tax in New Zealand. The Prime Minister had previously been hesitant to rule out a capital gains tax, so as not to limit the process of the Tax Working Group. Yet now that the working group is open in their discussion of the matter, the head of government has stated that he would require “an awful lot of convincing” on the matter and would want “meteoric evidence” supporting it.

The Capital Gains Tax discussion has centered around the sale of property and housing...

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