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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Tax Break for Indian Directors and Managing Directors

August 3, 2009 Taxation in India  No comments

The Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) of India has released their stance on service tax for Directors’ and Managing Directors‘ remuneration, clarifying that commission paid is in most cases not liable for service tax.

The CBEC has clarified their position on the situation of “commission” based on company performance being paid to Directors and Managing Directors, in regards to service tax purposes. Doubts were raised as to the position due to many of India’s listed companies treating the payments made towards Directors as “salary”, while in the strict reading of the law they were “commission”.

It was stated by the CBEC in a publication that “Some companies make payments to Managing Director/Directors (whole-time or independent), terming the same as commissions...

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UBS Case Leads To Offshore Info Volunteers

July 31, 2009 International Tax CooperationOffshore BankingTaxation in USA  No comments

The ongoing legal action between UBS and US Government has lead to some US offshore account holders volunteering their financial information to eschew possible harsher penalties.

According to Internal Revenue Service (IRS) spokesman, Terry Lemons, almost 400 applications were received by the IRS for the Leniency Program for offshore bank account disclosure in the week starting Monday 20th of July. This amount eclipses the voluntary disclosures for 2008, which numbered only 100 individuals.

The IRS is currently pursuing the identities of approximately 52,000 individuals who they believe to hold offshore bank accounts with UBS specifically for tax evasion purposes. The legal action is proceeding in the US court system, thereby circumventing the strict Swiss banking privacy laws.

Those indiv...

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Australian Makes Requested Secrecy Case Submission to US

July 30, 2009 Offshore BankingTax HavensTaxation in AustraliaTaxation in USA  No comments

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has made its submission to US Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs regarding the use of entities incorporated in the United States for possible secrecy haven purposes.

In an effort to stem tax evasion, avoidance, money laundering and other non-compliance activities, the US Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs requested that the ATO provide some case studies involving US entities and their possible use in non-compliance activities in Australia. The ATO has now sent their response, consisting of an introduction and eight cases and their analysis.

The ATO made comments in their response saying that secrecy havens still being a high compliance risk to Australia...

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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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