New Zealand Bank Guilty of Serious Tax Evasion

October 12, 2009 Offshore BankingOffshore TaxationTaxation in New Zealand  No comments

The New Zealand branch of Westpac Banking Corp has been found guilty by the New Zealand High Court of tax evasion, the legal action concerns a total of NZD918 million.

Court proceedings revolved around adjustments made to returns filed by Westpac in which a number of transactions were claimed and used to reduce the overall tax liability. The IRD contested that these were carried out purely with the purpose of tax evasion and subsequently assessed the bank’s tax liability higher. The tax figure dispute consists of NZD586 million base and a further NZD332 charged as interest.

The assessment revolved around nine international structured financing transactions which took place between 1998 and 2002...

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USA Tax Revenues Down

October 9, 2009 Taxation in USA  No comments

According to latest reports published by Internal Revenue Service (IRS) the government’s tax revenue fell 25%, compare to the same period last year.

The corporate taxpayers paid 56% less, while individual taxpayers payed 20% less. Taking in consideration such significant drops, the Congressional Budget Office estimates that only 14.3% of GDP this year will come from the tax collection. Historically, USA enjoys approximately 18% of GDP from tax revenue.

According to experts, the predominant cause behind the tax revenue downfall is the present economic climate, although the current taxation policy of the US Government is also putting pressure on tax collection in general...

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Cayman Islands to Increase Fees and Taxes

October 8, 2009 Offshore TaxationTax HavensTaxation in Cayman Islands  No comments

The Cayman Islands government has tabled a new budget which proposes to raise taxes and fees for the nation, though this has ensured the approval of the British government in attaining the loans necessary for the ailing jurisdiction.

In the face of a KYD40.8 million fall in revenues and a KYD56.2 million escalations in expenditure, the Cayman Islands government had sought assistance in the form of loans. Permission to increase the British jurisdiction’s debt balance was denied by the British government. It was requested that the Cayman Islands increase their tax base or levels to ensure that it does not post a budget deficit in the following fiscal year. With the new budget, permission has been given for the Cayman Islands to pursue and accept rescue loans.

It is estimated by the Cayman ...

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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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