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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Tobin Tax Splits G20 Summit

November 9, 2009 International Tax CooperationTaxation in CanadaTaxation in EUTaxation in FranceTaxation in GermanyTaxation in UKTaxation in USA  No comments

Gordon Brown, UK Prime Minister, brought forward a suggestion at the G20 summit, to instate a global foreign currency transaction tax on banks (commonly referred to as a Tobin Tax). The idea created an almost immediate split of opinion within the G20.

At the G20 Summit on November 7th, in St. Andrews, Scotland, the UK Prime Minister suggested banks be levied with a tax on their financial transactions. Gordon Brown made it clear that he wishes to see the burden of bank bailouts shifted from the tax payers to the institutions themselves and that this tax was one form of doing that...

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US Extends Homebuyer Tax Credit

November 6, 2009 Taxation in USA  No comments

The US House of Representatives voted to extend the deadline of the country’s first-time homebuyer tax credit, expanding it to also include those who already own homes.

The US Senate, on November 4th, approved through a 98-0 vote, the bill extending the country’s first-time homebuyer tax credit. The US House of Representatives passed the bill in a 403-12 vote on November 5th. President Barack Obama is required to sign off on the scheme before it is enacted, this is expected to take place on November 7th.

Under the scheme, those who are buying their first home, or have not owned a home for the last three years, can receive up to US$8,000 in the form of a tax credit. The credit amount is pegged at 10% of the home’s purchase price, up to $800,000...

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Swiss Suspend Tax Talks with Italy

November 5, 2009 International Tax CooperationOffshore BankingTaxation in ItalyTaxation in Switzerland  No comments

The Swiss Government has put a halt on Double Taxation Agreement (DTA) procedures with Italy.

Following Italy’s raid on Swiss banks located in Italy, the Swiss government announced on November 1st that it has suspended its negotiations regarding their DTA with Italy. In retaliation, Giulio Tremonti, Italy’s Finance Minister, threatened to “dry out” Lugano, Switzerland’s most prominent financial center after Zurich and Geneva.

Hans-Rudolf Merz, Swiss President and Finance Minister, said “The accord was ready for ratification from our side. But now the negotiations are being suspended until further notice”. Though no direct confirmation has been given, negotiations are not expected to be reinstated until the commencement of Italy’s current tax amnesty.

Further, Hans-Rudolf Merz, descri...

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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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