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Glossary

▶ Advance Tax Ruling (ATR)

ATRs are written statements from tax authorities, designed to avoid uncertainty or potential disputes by clarifying the tax implications of a transaction.

▶ Alternative Investment

Alternative investments are ones that don't involve stocks, bonds, or cash. Examples of investments that fit this category include precious metals, art, antiques, and financial assets such as commodities and financial derivatives.

▶ Alternative Minimum Tax

The AMT is a U.S. tax system that operates in parallel with the regular tax. Alternative minimum taxable income equals regular taxable income, but with extra adjustments taken into consideration.

▶ Asset Protection

Asset protection is a means of safeguarding assets from liabilities arising elsewhere, without tax evasion or concealment.

▶ Attorney-Client Privilege

Attorney–client privilege protects confidential communication by prohibiting attorneys speaking publicly about their client's affairs.

▶ Audits

An audit is an unbiased examination of an organization's financial statements, in order to ensure fiscal accuracy.

▶ Banking Secrecy

Banking secrecy is a system applied in certain jurisdictions, under which banks are prevented from giving information about their customers (with the exception of criminal investigations).

▶ Branch

A branch is an office where business is conducted, that is in a separate location from the company's corporate headquarters.

▶ Capital Gains Tax

CGT is a tax on capital gains, which represent profits resulting from disposing of capital assets (e.g. stocks, bonds or real estate).

▶ Captive Insurance

Captive insurance is an alternative form of risk management in which the policyholder owns the insurance company.

▶ Corporate Vehicles

Corporate Vehicles are legal entities that include corporations, private limited companies, trusts, foundations and partnerships with limited liability.

▶ Corporation Tax

Corporate tax is a tax levied on entities that are organized under the corporate laws of a particular jurisdiction. This is often determined in a similar manner to taxable income for individuals.

▶ Customs Duties

Customs duties are taxes levied on the transfer of goods across borders, with the purpose of raising state revenue and protecting domestic trade from overseas competition.

▶ Debentures

Debentures are forms of debt instrument, which are not secured by physical assets or collateral and are reliant on the issuers reputation and creditworthiness.

▶ Dividends

Dividends represent the distribution of a company's earnings, made by a corporation to its shareholders.

▶ Domicile

A domicile is the place at which a person or company is registered, particularly for the purposes of tax declaration. Unlike nationality, a person can only have one domicile at a time.

▶ Double Taxation Treaty

Double Taxation Treaties are agreements between jurisdictions, with the aim of preventing the same income being taxed in both places.

▶ Equity

Equity is an ownership interest, represented by the difference between an entity's assets and its liabilities.

▶ Excess Profit Tax

An excess profits tax is one imposed on abnormal earnings. Historically, this was used to prevent businesses from excessive gains during times of war, but it can also be used by governments as a means of regulating particular industries.

▶ Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB)

The Financial Accounting Standards Board establishes standards of financial accounting, in order to ensure accurate preparation of financial reports by nongovernmental bodies.

▶ Financial Services

Financial services is a term that encompasses a wide variety of business types, including accountants, banks, credit card companies, insurance companies, investment funds, and stock brokerages.

▶ Financial Transactions Tax

Financial transaction taxes are ones levied on particular types of monetary transaction, with the aim of selectively discouraging excessive speculation.

▶ Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA)

FATCA is a U.S. legal ruling, that requires individuals to report financial accounts, held outside of the United States, to the Internal Revenue Service.

▶ Foreign Exchange

Foreign exchange involves purchasing an amount of one currency through payment with a different currency.

▶ Foreign Tax Credit

A Foreign Tax Credit is a form of tax relief for overseas earnings, designed to mitigate the potential for double taxation.

▶ Fringe Benefits

Fringe benefits are provided by an employer but are not classed as being part of a salary. This means they can be exempt from taxation provided certain conditions are met.

▶ Havens

Havens are jurisdictions that impose no, or minimal, taxes, and are commonly used by residents of jurisdictions with high taxes as a means of reducing the amount of tax they pay.

▶ Holding Company

A holding company is one which does not produce goods or services, but whose purpose is to own shares of other companies.

▶ IMF

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is an international organization whose goal is to promote international monetary cooperation and exchange rate stability.

▶ Intellectual Property

Intellectual property (IP) is a legal concept which attributes rights to a variety of intangible assets. These can take for form of patents, copyright, or, trademarks.

▶ Interest

Interest is a fee paid by a borrower as a form of compensation for the use of assets.

▶ International Accounting Standards Board (IASB)

The International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) is an independent, private-sector body that develops and approves International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRSs).

▶ International Financial Reporting Standards

International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) are globally accepted practices for processing company accounts in a way which makes them understandable and comparable across international boundaries.

▶ Intrastat

Intrastat is the name given to the system used for collecting statistics on the trade in goods (ie services are excluded) between the 28 Member States of the European Union (EU).

▶ Jurisdictions

A jurisdiction is an area that is subject to its own distinct tax regulations.

▶ Liability

A liability is an obligation or debt that is due to be settled with either money, goods or services.

▶ OECD

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) uses its wealth of information on a broad range of topics to help governments foster prosperity and fight poverty through economic growth and financial stability.

▶ Offshore

An offshore jurisdiction is one that provides financial services to non-residents on a scale that is disproportionate to its resident population and economy.

▶ QNUPS

A Qualifying Non-UK Pension Scheme (QNUPS) is one available to British citizens, and which allows them to transfer UK-based pension assets to overseas based schemes.

▶ QROPS

A Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme (QROPS) is one available to British citizens, and which enables the transfer of UK pension benefits to another country, without incurring unauthorised charges.

▶ Rebate

A rebate is a refund on taxes, which is due when the tax which an individual owes is less than the sum of the total amount of taxes that they paid.

▶ Reporting

Reporting involves the submission of accounting/financial information in order to fulfill tax obligations.

▶ Residence

Being a resident in a jurisdiction is different to being domiciled. It is possible to be resident in more than one country at the same time, leading to potential double taxation issues.

▶ Reverse Charge

A reverse charge can apply when a supplier is in a different country, and VAT subsequently has to be covered by the customer before being claimed back.

▶ Royalties

Royalties are usage-based payment, often made when a licensee whishes to utilise someone else's intellectual property.

▶ Sales Tax

A sales tax is a form of consumption tax, which typically applies to the sale of goods and less often to the sales of services.

▶ SIPP

A Self-Invested Personal Pension (SIPP) differs to a standard personal pension scheme by offering the freedom to choose and manage your own investments.

▶ Stamp Duty

A stamp duty is a duty levied on the legal recognition of certain documents. This historically required a physical stamp on a document, though this is no longer required.

▶ Subsidiary

A subsidiary is a type of company whose has more than 50% of its voting stock controlled by another company.

▶ Superannuation

Superannuation is the process of making regular payments, often deducted from employees' incomes, in order to recieve return payment on retiring from work.

▶ Tax Avoidance

Tax avoidance is a legal means of arranging finances, with the aim being to minimize the amount of tax that is due to be paid.

▶ Tax Breaks

A tax break is an incetive aimed at reducing a taxpayer's liability. These can take the form of deductions, tax credits, or exemptions.

▶ Tax Consolidation

Tax consolidation involves a group of companies being considered as a single entity for tax purposes, with the aim being to reduce administrative costs.

▶ Tax Evasion

Tax evasion is an illegal means of reducing tax that is due to be paid, either through misrepresentative or dishonest tax reporting.

▶ Tax Holiday

A tax holiday is the reduction in a tax by a government, most often used as a form of incentive for business investment.

▶ Tax Imputation

Tax imputation is a system that allows an investor who receives a divided from a company to also receive a tax credit for corporate taxes that the firm has paid.

▶ Tax Incentive

A tax incentive is a method used by governments to encourage particularly desired economic activity.

▶ Tax Information Exchange Agreement (TIEA)

TIEAs are bilateral agreements between jurisdictions that enable the exchange of information for tax calculation.

▶ Tax Sanctions

A tax sanction is a form of punishment, in order to encourage taxpayers to pay on time and penalise those who do not.

▶ Tax Shelter

Tax shelters encompass a range of methods for reducing taxable income. The term can include both legitimate and illegal forms.

▶ Taxable Base

An individual or company's taxable base is amount of income that is subject to taxation, after allowances and deductions have been made.

▶ Thin Capitalisation

Thin capitalisation is a situation where a company's capital is proportionally much higher in debt than equity.

▶ Transfer Pricing

Transfer pricing is a means of allocating profit by multinational companies, prior to tax being due in the countries where it does business.

▶ Transparency

Transparency represents the degree to which companies make financial information available to others. It is useful in preventing corruption and reducing price volatility.

▶ Trusts

A trust is a legal arrangement where one or more 'trustees' are legally responsible for holding assets that have been entrusted to them by a 'settlor'.

▶ Turnover

Turnover is the total income that a company receives from the sale of goods and services, and is also often referred to as revenue.

▶ VAT

A value added tax (VAT) is a form of consumption tax, which is typically levied on the purchase of most goods and services.

▶ Venture Capital

Venture capital is financial capital provided to a company, which results in the investor receiving an equity share in return.

▶ Withholding Tax

Withholding tax is the process of automatically deducting and paying taxes, before the reporting period has ended. This can result in a rebate if the deductions are larger than necessary.

▶ World Bank

The World Bank is a source of financial and technical assistance to developing countries, with a stated aim of reducing poverty levels.