Worldwide Tax News
Leaked Info on Bahamas Offshore Companies Published
The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung, as well as news outlets from Europe, South America, Asia, and Africa are reporting leaked details from the Bahamas corporate registry. In addition, the information has been combined with data from the Panama Papers and other leaked offshore documents as part of the ICIJ's Offshore Leaks Database, which is freely available to the public.
Often referred to as “The Switzerland of the West,” the leaked business records from the Bahamas provides names of directors and some owners of more than 175,000 Bahamian companies, trusts, and foundations registered between 1990 and early 2016, including previously unknown connections to companies owned or run by current and former politicians across the globe.
Egypt Publishes New VAT Return
The Egyptian tax authority has published the new value added tax (VAT) return (Arabic language) that must be filed in accordance with the new VAT Law (previous coverage). Under the new law, which entered into force 8 September 2016 and repealed the sales tax law, the VAT period is monthly and returns are due within two months following the end of each period. To transition to VAT, sales tax payers that already met the new sales threshold for VAT (EGP 500,000) are automatically registered for VAT and must file the new return. Sales tax payers not meeting the new threshold are not registered for VAT, unless opt to do so, and must file a final sales tax return.
France Increases Penalties on Assets Declared under Regularization Program
The French Ministry for the Economy and Finance has announced that the penalties under France's tax regularization program will be increased for new disclosure applications. The program, introduced in 2013, originally provides for a reduced penalty of 15% for declared assets in relation to inheritances, gifts, or foreign earned income (passive fraud), and 30% for deliberately hidden assets (active fraud). For applications filed from 15 September, these penalties are increased to 25% and 35% respectively. The main reason for the increase is that the 5% fine on the value of undeclared accounts was ruled unconstitutional in July 2016 because it applied even when the amounts had not been fraudulently withheld from tax.
Russia Issues Guidance on VAT Implications of the Transfer of Assets from a Parent to a Subsidiary
The Russian Ministry of Finance recently published Letter No. 03-07-03/47566, which clarifies the value added tax (VAT) implications of the transfer of assets from a parent company to a subsidiary as a contribution to capital. According to the letter, any VAT claimed as a deduction in relation to the transferred assets must be recovered (repaid to the government). The amount recovered is the amount that had been accepted as a deduction, or in respect of fixed assets and intangible assets, the amount in proportion to the net book value without revaluation. The amount recovered is then available for deduction by the company that received the assets as a contribution, provided that the assets are used by that company in operations subject to VAT.
Guernsey Launches Public Consultation on CbC Reporting
The government of Guernsey has launched a public consultation on the implementation of Country-by-Country (CbC) reporting requirements based on Action 13 of the OECD BEPS Project. As a member of the Inclusive Framework for the global implementation of the BEPS Project, Guernsey is committed to implementing the minimum BEPS standards, which include CbC reporting.
The consultation itself is quite general. It provides the OECD Model legislation for the implementation of CbC reporting, and requests input on whether Guernsey's implementation should be based on the Model, and if not, what changes should be made.
Click the following link for the consultation document. Comments are due by 21 October 2016.
Sweden's Budget for 2017 Presented to Parliament
On 20 September 2016, the Budget for 2017 was presented to the Swedish parliament. The tax related changes are relatively minor and include:
- Increasing the individual income tax lower bracket threshold to SEK 438,900 and the upper threshold to SEK 638,500;
- Abolishing deductions for interest on certain subordinated loans;
- Amending the calculation for interest on advance tax payment accounts so it may be reduced to 0% - with the current calculation the lowest rate is 0.5625%, which some taxpayers are taking advantage of by making excessive tax payments given the low Swedish interest rate (currently negative);
- Introducing an SEK 30,000 turnover threshold for VAT registration; and
- Bringing minor repair services for bicycles, shoes, clothes, etc. within the scope of the reduced 12% VAT rate (standard 25%).
Click the following link for the Budget Statement (in English), which provides a table of measures at the bottom. Subject to approval, the measures will generally apply from 1 January 2017.
Tax Treaty between Andorra and Malta Signed
On 20 September 2016, officials from Andorra and Malta signed an income tax treaty, according to a release from the Andorran government. The treaty is the first of its kind between the two countries, and will enter into force after the ratification instruments are exchanged.
Additional details will be published once available.
Note - a previous article indicating that the Andorra-Malta treaty had been signed on 16 December 2015 has been amended to reflect that it had been initialed on that date.
Austria Confirms Entry into Force of Protocol to Tax Treaty with Belarus
The Austrian Ministry for European and International Affairs has published an update confirming that the amending protocol to the 2001 Austria-Belarus tax treaty entered into force on 1 October 2015. The protocol, signed 24 November 2014, is the first to amend the treaty and applies from 1 January 2016. It updates the competent authority for Belarus and replaces Article 26 (Exchange of Information) to bring it in line with the OECD standard for information exchange.
TIEA between Germany and St. Kitts and Nevis has Entered into Force
On 19 September 2016, the tax information exchange agreement between Germany and St. Kitts and Nevis entered into force. The agreement, signed 19 October 2010, is the first of its kind between the two countries and is line with the OECD standard for information exchange. It generally applies from the date of its entry into force.
India to Sign TIEA with Samoa
According to a 21 September 2016 release from the Indian Government, the Cabinet has approved the signing of a tax information exchange agreement with Samoa. The agreement will be the first of its kind between the two countries, and must be signed and ratified before entering into force.
Tax Treaty between New Zealand and Ukraine under Negotiation
On 20 September 2016, officials from New Zealand and Ukraine agreed to accelerate the negotiation of an income tax treaty. Any resulting treaty would be the first of its kind between the two countries, and must be finalized, signed and ratified before entering into force.