UK Promises to Further its Fight on Tax Evasion

September 22, 2009 International Tax CooperationOffshore BankingTax HavensTaxation in EUTaxation in UK  No comments

The United Kingdom looks set to increase efforts to combat tax evaders.

Speaking on the 21st of September in regards to the upcoming G20 summit in Pittsburg, Stephen Timms, UK Financial Secretary, has decried tax evasion as being morally wrong, he then proceeded to claim that further efforts will soon be made to “tilt the game back towards honest, hard-working taxpayers”.

It was announced on the same day that Alistair Darling, Chancellor of the Exchequer, will use his Pre-Budget Report to instate tougher penalties for tax avoiders, attempt to close loop-holes which make it easier to utilize offshore accounts in avoiding tax liability, strengthen means by which tax avoiders are sought and increase the amount of information available to HM Revenue and Customs.

Alistair Darling also promised...

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IRS Leniency Program to be Extended

September 21, 2009 Offshore BankingTaxation in EUTaxation in SwitzerlandTaxation in USA  No comments

The US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will extend the deadline for those wishing to apply for the offshore account declaration leniency program.

Originally scheduled to end on the 23rd of September, the IRS’s leniency program promised to reduce penalties paid by those declaring their UBS accounts. Applications for the program have significantly increased following a settlement between the IRS and Swiss bank UBS, which saw the details of 4,450 American owned accounts promised to the IRS. According to IRS officials, over 3,000 applications for the leniency program have been received since the institution of the program. The IRS has stated that approximately 10,000 cases are expected to arise in regards to UBS, half of these will be through the voluntary disclosure program.

Typically, the ...

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Swiss Bankers Want New Tax

September 18, 2009 International Tax CooperationOffshore BankingTaxation in Switzerland  No comments

The Swiss Bankers Association (SBA) is calling for Switzerland’s government to instate a withholding tax on earnings generated by foreign held Swiss bank accounts.

In order to save what remains of Switzerland’s weakened privacy laws the SBA has come up with an alternative to automatic international financial information sharing, as is proposed now. It is envisaged that a withholding tax could be levied on the interest, dividends, investment income and capital gains generated by accounts held by foreigners.

The tax will be levied at the level of the country of origin for the funds. Upon collection the tax funds will be transferred between appropriate banks, with client information only being seen by the institutions...

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Tax Amnesty Begins for Italians

September 17, 2009 Offshore BankingTax HavensTaxation in EUTaxation in Italy  No comments

The Italian Government has launched a tax amnesty program for the declaration of funds held in offshore accounts.

Beginning on the 15th of September, Italians will have opportunity to declare their offshore accounts to the government. The tax amnesty, which will last until the 15th of April 2010, will allow Italian nationals to protect themselves from future penalties and criminal prosecution for their undeclared assets, in turn facing only a 5% penalty on the account’s total value.

The tax amnesty applies to private individuals, partnerships and non-commercial associations. Limited liability companies and those already under investigation for tax fraud are not eligible. Those applying have two options available for their funds – repatriation and regularization...

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Insurers Threaten to Leave the UK

September 16, 2009 Taxation in EUTaxation in UK  No comments

The Association of British Insurers has warned that unless taxation is made more competitive in the UK, insurance providers and their executives will shift their business offshore.

The Association of British Insurers (ABI) called on the British government to address aspects of the taxation system in order to quell concerns of the insurance industry. In a paper titled “UK Competitiveness: the way forward for insurance”, published on the 15th of September, the AIB released results of a survey conducted on insurance providers and their managers, along with a list of proposals of changes in British taxation.

According to the ABI publication, 81% of UK based insurers believe that if the British taxation system stays the same as it is now the number of insurance providers resident in the UK...

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