Category Taxation In Europe

EU and South Korea Initial FTA

October 17, 2009 International Tax CooperationTaxation in EUTaxation in South Korea  No comments

The European Union (EU) and South Korea have initialed a Free Trade Agreement (FTA).

After a series of negotiations and two legal review meetings in July and September, the FTA between South Korea and the EU came to be initialed on the 15th of October. The FTA document was signed by Catherine Ashton, EU Trade Commissioner, and Kim Jong-hoon, South Korean Trade Minister, in a ceremony in Brussels.

The Free Trade Agreement is heralded as one of the most important agreements of its kind to be signed by the EU. Virtually all tariffs charged on the approximate €65 billion worth of trade between EU and South Korea will be eliminated within seven years of the official signing of the document. Estimates have placed the value of the agreement at €19 billion.

Remarking on the signing of the trea...

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Debt an Issue for German Tax Cuts

October 14, 2009 Taxation in Germany  No comments

The newly elected German coalition featuring the Free Democratic Party (FDP) has refused to fund tax cuts for the nation with further debt increases.

Germany’s 27th of September election saw creation of a Christian Democratic Union (CDP), Christian Social Union (CSU) and FDP coalition. While campaign promises of all parties have maintained that tax cuts would be a priority for the coalition, contentions arisen as to the matter of their funding.

The newly formed coalition will undergo a final round of negotiations regarding the party’s vastly different tax cut promises, throughout the weekend beginning on the 17th of October. CDP has campaigned for tax breaks equivalent to approximately €15 billion, with no specific mention of timing or fund sourcing...

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Italian Tax Amnesty Approved, Judged Risky

October 7, 2009 Offshore BankingTax HavensTaxation in Italy  No comments

The newest Italian Tax Amnesty Program has been written into law, yet is judged to be a risk to the country by Fitch Ratings.

Italy, which according to an Associazione Contribuenti Italiani and Klrs Network of Business Ethics survey has EU’s highest levels of tax evasion, has approved its third tax amnesty program in eight years. The 2nd of October saw the Italian parliament pass the tax amnesty proposal with 270 affirmative and 250 negative votes. It was signed into law by Giorgio Napolitano, President of the Italian Republic, on the 3rd of October.

The tax amnesty program proposed to allow the repatriation or relocation of offshore held funds with protection from prosecution, in exchange for a 5% fine on the value of the funds...

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UK Conservative Party Promising Tax Cuts

October 6, 2009 Taxation in UK  No comments

The UK Conservative Party has announced a proposal under which taxes would be cut for firms creating new jobs. Hints have also been given regarding the cut of UK’s 50% top personal tax bracket.

George Osborne, UK Conservative Party member and Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer, stated on the 5th of October that under a Conservative Party government, employers would not be required to pay National Insurance contributions for two years. Cutting the levy, which amounts to 12.8% of an employee’s salary, is estimated to ultimately cost the Government £250 million. Funding for this move would come from budget cuts in other areas, although exact details will be provided at the Conservative Party Conference, October 8th.

The tax exemption is applicable only to newly created businesses, and on...

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UK Scrapping International Issuance Tax

October 5, 2009 Taxation in UK  No comments

Following a European Court of Justice (ECG) ruling, the UK Government has ceased levying 1.5% on all shares issued or transferred to a clearance service by British companies, internationally.

The 1st of October saw the ECG rule against the HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC), saying that the 1.5% Stamp Duty Reserve Tax (SDRT) is against European Community Law. The tax was levied on British companies which issued or transferred securities through a clearance service within the EU or the US. Typically such a situation would arise in merger or takeover situations. Estimates have placed the annual income figure from the SDRT to the British Government at over £10 million, though the HMRC have refused to confirm such figures.

The ECG ruling came as part of court action taken up by British-based HSBC, w...

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