Category Taxation In Europe

US and UBS Case Reaches Agreement

August 4, 2009 International Tax CooperationOffshore BankingTaxation in SwitzerlandTaxation in USA  No comments

An agreement has been reached in the negotiations between UBS and the US, tentatively resulting in the disclosure of 5,000 account holder names and no fines for UBS.

The recent legal wrangle between the Swiss bank UBS and the US Department of Justice (DoJ), in a case filed on behalf of the Inland Revenue Service (IRS), looks like it could come to a relatively placid end. It was announced that the two parties have come to an agreement “in principal”.

While the US originally sought the names of 52,000 American UBS account holders, it now seems willing to settle for the 5,000 largest accounts. The sought after names are all under suspicion of evasion of US taxes through their Swiss offshore accounts...

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Directors Urge Embrace of Tax Haven Policy for UK

July 29, 2009 Tax HavensTaxation in EUTaxation in UK  No comments

The Institute of Directors of UK, in a paper released on the 27th of July is urging the UK Government to embrace the concept of tax havens as opposed to the current policy of attempting to combat them.

The primary crux of the paper urges the UK government to relax some taxation rules surrounding UK based business, hedge-funds were a primary example. Specifically in regards to this, the paper says “If the UK’s tax rules were amended, hedge fund assets could be held in the UK, with no overall loss and some gain to the exchequer.”

This view is not met with overall support and faces staunch opposition, both from commentators and governmental actions. In early July at the Franco-British Summit, both countries set out to impose economic sanctions on tax havens by March 2010...

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UK and Turks & Caicos Islands Sign Tax Information Agreement

July 27, 2009 Tax HavensTaxation in EUTaxation in Turks & Caicos IslandsTaxation in UK  No comments

The United Kingdom and the Turks & Caicos Islands have signed a Tax Information Exchange Agreement (TIEA) on the 21st of July.

The TIEA was signed in a London ceremony at the Commonwealth Office by Andrew Allen, the Acting Director Overseas Territories Directorate Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and The Honourable Royal Robinson, Deputy Premier and Minister for Health and Finance of the Turks and Caicos Islands.

The Tax Information exchange Agreement creates a means by which an extensive range of information can be requested by a government from the corresponding signing government. The agreement is based on the TIEA forms created by the OECD Global Forum Working Group on Effective Exchange of Information (“the Working Group”)...

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UK New Disclosure Opportunity to End March 2010

July 10, 2009 Offshore BankingTax HavensTaxation in UK  No comments

The HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has begun a New Disclosure Opportunity (NDO) initiative to run through until 2010, in the hopes of reclaiming any taxes owed by offshore bank account holders.

New Disclosure Opportunity notifications will be sent out to the clients of numerous UK banks and financial institutions by the HMRC in a scheme to entice offshore account holders into disclosing any unpaid tax obligations. In July 2007 a similar Offshore Disclosure Facility (ODF) was run by the HMRC and netted over £450 million in previously unpaid taxes.

Clients of Barclays, Lloyds, HSBC, HBOS or RBS, who received notification from the previous ODF, will face a penalty of 20% of their tax liability...

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Tax Data Deal for Germany and Liechtenstein

July 10, 2009 Tax HavensTaxation in EUTaxation in GermanyTaxation in Liechtenstein  No comments

Germany and Liechtenstein struck up a Tax Information Exchange Agreement (TIEA) on the 10th of July.

In an effort to amend the rift between the two countries, caused by a dispute over Liechtenstein’s bank secrecy laws, the TIEA has finally been agreed upon to promote bilateral co-operation on tax matters through an exchange of information. The signed agreement complies with current guidelines developed by the OECD Global Forum Working Group on Effective Exchange of Information, and is set to be enacted during the 2010 tax year, subject to a governmental ratification.

Liechtenstein Prime Minister Klaus Tschuetscher described the TIEA as a response to international attention to current financial practises in his country and regarded this agreement as “an important step in our relationship...

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