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  • How FATCA Will Impact Tax Planning

    How FATCA Will Impact Tax Planning

    Freemont Group

    05 Aug, 2013

    It has been postponed several times, but on July first 2014 the US Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act will ultimately come into force. FATCA requires foreign banks to report US account holders or face a 30% withholding tax on their US assets. While this should not be of immediate concern to our European clients, FATCA may set a precedent to other countries, supranational organisations and aspiring empires such as the OECD and EU.
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  • An Introspective Frenzy of Regulation

    An Introspective Frenzy of Regulation

    Kitty Miv, Editor

    01 Aug, 2013

    It's all happening in trade at the moment with the United States gaining its second star in a week after reporting good progress with the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations, after a successful opening to the US/EU TTIP talks last week. Japan has now officially joined the process, which also includes Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.
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  • The SAR's Huddled Masses of Unfranchised Citizens

    The SAR's Huddled Masses of Unfranchised Citizens

    Kitty Miv, Editor

    11 Jul, 2013

    Another week, another superlative for Hong Kong, this time for the nth successive increase in the number of foreign and Chinese companies setting up there. Every year, there are more businesses, more people, more profit, more capital and more capitalists in Hong Kong. What are the limits?
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  • A banking industry under siege

    A banking industry under siege

    Kitty Miv, Editor

    04 Jul, 2013

    Global Tax Weekly has been portraying Switzerland as a country under siege, or at least a banking industry under siege (they still make watches and cheese with holes in it quite successfully, as far as I know). But the enemies are not just without (everyone's enemy the European Union, the USA, sadly, and paper tiger the OECD) but also within, where the Government has been coming under sustained attack from what is presumably a socialist-inspired popular national suicide movement called the people's this or the people's that, which is only a whisker away from names like National People's Party.
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  • They comprehensively failed to agree on anything at all

    They comprehensively failed to agree on anything at all

    Kitty Miv, Editor

    27 Jun, 2013

    Goody two-shoes the British Virgin Islands (offshore? moi?) jumped smartly onto the G8 bandwagon, saying that anyway it had been doing all the right things all along. It's pretty easy to say that you agree with everything when nothing was said, which was the case at David Cameron's summer country house party, where they comprehensively failed to agree on anything at all.
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  • Fudge is What's Going to Happen

    Fudge is What's Going to Happen

    Kitty Miv, Editor

    23 May, 2013

    Dutch Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem has not had a good press in this column due to his involvement with the Cyprus bail-in, but now he is on the side of the angels, pitching in to the financial transactions tax debate, lining up the Netherlands against it. There is a growing chorus of opposition to the proposed tax, with even outgoing Bank of England Governor Mervyn King, not normally one to stick his neck out, saying that he cannot find anyone in Europe's banking community who believes that the proposed tax is a good idea. You'd expect bankers to be against it, of course, but when the Finance Minister of a core European Union member state raises his voice, that has to be taken seriously. What is going to happen?
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    Tags: Euro


  • An SEZ in the Waterlogged Fens Outside Cambridge

    An SEZ in the Waterlogged Fens Outside Cambridge

    Kitty Miv, Editor

    09 May, 2013

    One swallow doesn't make a summer, and we can't herald an outbreak of competition in the European Union just because the UK has announced an expansion of its fiscal support for film-making. But coming on the heels of the announcement of the Patent Box, and further reductions in the rate of corporation tax, it does show that there are ways for a country to compete even within the strait-jacket of the EU's State Aid rules. It seems illogical and even perverse that Brussels allows a range of national corporation tax rates from 10 percent to 33 percent, yet will not allow say an SEZ in the waterlogged fens outside Cambridge with an incentive rate of 10% for technology start-ups. Of course that situation is not the Commission's choice – they would prefer a harmonized tax rate across the Union. Let's hope they never get their wish: it would be like entering a boxing match with your hands tied behind your back.
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  • Cyprus and Banking

    Cyprus and Banking

    Freemont Group

    29 Mar, 2013

    What has happened in Cyprus in the past few weeks is unprecedented. The European policy before that had been to fight debt by creating more debt.

    Banks with toxic debt were saved by governments guaranteeing the debts, buying the debts from the banks, or nationalizing the banks.
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  • These Taxes are Usually Self-Defeating

    These Taxes are Usually Self-Defeating

    Kitty Miv, Editor

    14 Mar, 2013

    Better late than never, the Philippines has abandoned its Common Carrier Tax, which has been crucifying the country's tourist industry. Airlines will start flying again to the Philippines, and the Government will make much more from visitors' purchases than it does from CCT, which has been reaping less and less as airlines simply crossed Manila off their schedules. Lots of countries tax air travel, under the pretence of saving the environment, and these taxes are usually self-defeating. Island nations calculate that people will have to pay the tax because they can't swim to an adjoining country to catch their planes, but people can and do take short hop flights to a hub which doesn't tax their long-haul flights; or in the case of the UK, they catch the Eurostar to Paris and fly from there.
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  • Austrian Politicians Fiercely Opposed to Wealth Tax

    Austrian Politicians Fiercely Opposed to Wealth Tax

    Freemont Group

    05 Mar, 2013

    Even though Austria is among the eleven pioneers introducing the Robin Hood tax, according to Christoph Leitl, the President of the Austrian Economic Chamber (WK) and of the Austrian People’s Party (VP) Economic Association (Wirtschaftsbund), enough is enough. During his speech at Ottakringer brewery, Leitl has vividly warned against the introduction of a property tax in Austria that the Asutria’s Social Democrats (SP) have unveiled last year. He confirmed that VP will reject plans to introduce inheritance, gift and wealth taxes in Austria, arguing that imposing those taxes would equal theft.
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