Category Taxation in Asia-Pacific

UK and Australia Seeking UBS Data

November 10, 2009 International Tax CooperationOffshore BankingTaxation in AustraliaTaxation in SwitzerlandTaxation in UK  No comments

Swiss bank UBS has confirmed that the governments of the UK and Australia, amongst others, are seeking information about possible tax evasion from their own nationals.

According to the notes within the UBS third quarter report, following the settlement of its case with the US Department of Justice and Internal Revenue Services, UBS began to receive request from other jurisdictions for similar information. The UBS report said that “In particular, the revenue services of the UK and Australia have served upon UBS and other Swiss and non-Swiss financial institutions providing cross-border wealth management services requests for information relating to such services that is located in the respective jurisdictions”...

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Westpac NZ to Appeal Tax Decision

November 4, 2009 Taxation in New Zealand  No comments

The New Zealand branch of Westpac Banking Corp has revealed its intention to appeal the New Zealand High Court’s decision on the bank’s tax assessment.

Last month Westpac had challenged an amended assessment of their tax information by the Inland Revenue Department. The New Zealand High Court had decided to dismiss the challenge, leaving Westpac liable for NZ$586 million in unpaid taxes and a possible NZ$332 in interest. George Frazis, Westpac NZ Chief Executive, said, regarding the appeal decision “In our view there are sound arguments that warrant an appeal of the High Court’s decision. We consider those arguments are of sufficient merit to justify consideration by the NZ Court of Appeal”.

The IRD’s assessment amendment of Westpac revolves around a series of structured financing trans...

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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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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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