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  • Title: Lowtax.net - Offshore, Tax, Law, Business, E-commerce Information Resource
    Descriptive info: .. This site uses cookies.. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.. Find out more here.. powered by.. Caught up in the Eye of the Storm.. San Marino must be wondering what hit it.. A few years ago it was a sleepy backwater with a small but thriving business in warehousing mostly Italian wealth; then along came a tsunami of EU, OECD and Italian regulation an.. Read More.. International Legal Services – Hong Kong.. With the enactment of new legislation in the areas of arbitration and mediation, it is the Hong Kong Government’s professed goal to position the territory as a legal services centre of excellence serving the Asia Pacific.. An Introspective Frenzy of Regulation.. 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 TT.. Shipping and Aviation Tax.. For owners and users of private yachts and aircraft in Europe, navigating the European Union’s all-pervading tax rules is a daunting task, especially when they are subject to change on a regular basis.. Not One Uncivil Servant has Been Fired.. I'm searching in vain for ways to reward countries this week: no-one has reduced taxes; no government has said that it is reducing the number of tax audits it carries out because companies are becoming more accurate and.. Latest News.. Last updated 16 hours ago | Sunday, August 11, 2013.. HMRC Clarifies Stamp Duty Group Relief.. Germany Planning Fiscal Stimulus.. Luxembourg, Switzerland Vie For RMB Crown.. BHP Billiton Chief Talks Australian Tax System.. Canadian Companies Focus On Tax Risk Management.. Swiss Regulator Outlines Too Big To Fail Response.. Chidambaram Promotes Indian Service Tax Compliance.. IRS Disputes Tyco Debt Interest Deductions.. Award For Cloud-Based Expat Tax Firm.. Argentina's Tax Revenue Hits Record High In July.. Visit Tax-News.. com for more news.. Your national regulations may prohibit access to some advertisements;.. Click here.. for more info.. Latest Blog Entries.. More.. Off-shoring Your Internet Identity.. How FATCA Will Impact Tax Planning.. Latvia: Luxembourg For The Poor.. Dubai Now has Critical Mass.. The SAR's Huddled Masses of Unfranchised Citizens.. Dubai’s Booming Property Market.. A banking industry under siege.. Contributed Articles.. Global Residence Programme Rules 2013 for non-EU/non-EEA/non-Swiss Nationals.. Contributed by.. Camilleri Galea Ltd.. HMRC Faces Taxing Times.. Hawksford.. NEWSLETTER: Protection – 2014 style!.. MW Pensions.. A Tax Holiday in Canada?.. SovereignGroup.. com.. Privacy Unlimited FZE.. QROPS BULLETIN: JULY 2013.. Contributed by QROPS Choice.. com.. Latest Forum Posts.. Should a BVI pay Polish VAT?.. Seychelles company with bank account - at distance setup.. Open company in gibraltar.. Indian Resident: Want to open a trading company in Hong Kong? or UAE?.. Is Hong Kong the best jurisdiction for setting up an offshore trust/IBC?.. Labuan compared to other Asian jurisdictions such as Hong Kong, Singapore and RAK (Dubai)?.. starting next year Hong kong companies will have a mandatory individual director.. Trading Company.. Cheap company for IT business.. Best bank (any country) for nameless debit and credit card that works everywhere?.. Contributed Press Releases.. Finance Invitation.. Fiducenter.. License for Integrated Casino Resort and Other Important Decisions by the Government of Cyprus.. Important News.. Rankings & Recommendations  ...   Lowtax Update 25th July 2013.. Lowtax Update 18th July 2013.. Lowtax Update 11th July 2013.. Manage your mailing list preferences.. here.. Network Tweets.. Recommended Links.. Bookkeeping Course.. Global Trade.. International Tax Review.. Worldwide-Tax.. More useful links.. Strategic Partners.. Lowtax Network Portal.. : 'Low-tax' business and investment in the top 50 jurisdictions covered in exceptional detail.. Tax News.. : Global tax news, continuously updated through the day.. Investors Offshore.. : The independent offshore and alternative investment guide for expatriates and the globally aware investor.. Law Tax News.. : Daily news and background data on tax and legal developments for international business.. Offshore-e-com.. : A topical guide to offshore e-commerce focused on tax and regulation.. Lowtax Library.. : One of the web's largest and most authoritative business and investment information sources.. US Tax Network.. : The resource for free online US taxation information, covering: corporate tax, individual tax, international tax, expatriates, sales and e-commerce tax, investment tax.. Offshore Trusts Guide.. : OTG publishes news, features and newsletters on the use of offshore trust structures.. TreatyPro.. : The online tax treaty resource.. Global Incorporation Guide [GIG].. : A BSI / Lowtax Network international business smart tool.. View Cartoon Archive.. One of the web's largest and most authoritative business and investment information sources.. Alongside topical,.. daily news.. on worldwide tax developments, you can receive.. weekly newswires.. or access.. up-to-date intelligence reports.. on a range of legal, tax and investment subjects.. REGISTER NOW FOR A FREE TRIAL.. Our constantly updated intelligence reports cover every important aspect of 'offshore' and international tax-planning in depth, including banking secrecy, the EU's savings tax directive, offshore funds, e-commerce, offshore gaming and transfer pricing.. Reports are available for immediate downloading or as.. subscription services.. with news pages.. Advertising & Marketing.. With over 50,000 qualified readers every month our web-sites offer a number of cost effective, targeted advertising, sponsorship and marketing opportunities:.. - Display advertising - from 'skyscrapers' to 'buttons'.. - Content/article submission and sponsorship.. - Opt-in email marketing.. - On-line Services Directory listings.. to learn more or contact Charles Bell on +44 (0)1424 205 425 or at.. charles@bsi-media.. and he will put you in touch with your regional rep.. News & Content Solutions.. Could your corporate web-site or newsletter benefit from incorporating regularly updated news and content tailored to serve your clients' interests? We can provide a variety of maintenance-free news and content solutions that can be seamlessly integrated and dynamically delivered:.. - Customised, personalised 'own-brand' news services.. - Newsletter content and management.. - News Headline Tickers.. RSS.. |.. Contact.. Recruitment.. About.. Privacy & Cookies.. Useful Links.. Media Partners.. Testimonials.. All content on this site has been provided by.. BSIRN.. Important Notice:.. Wolters Kluwer TAA Limited has taken reasonable care in sourcing and presenting the information contained on this site, but accepts no responsibility for any financial or other loss or damage that may result from its use.. In particular, users of the site are advised to take appropriate professional advice before committing themselves to involvement in offshore jurisdictions, offshore trusts or offshore investments.. All rights reserved.. 2013 Wolters Kluwer TAA Limited.. Front Page.. Directory.. Featured Content.. Lowtax Special Features.. Country Rankings.. Contributed Articles.. Contributed Press Releases.. Blogs.. Events.. Forum.. Offshore Review.. Partners.. Law And Tax News.. Offshore E-Com.. Ask Lowtax..

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  • Title: Lowtax | Legal
    Descriptive info: Lowtax Jurisdictions.. Legal.. Privacy Policy.. Cookies.. Disclaimer.. Intellectual Property.. More Information.. Wolters Kluwer TAA Limited collects information about individuals and their organizations during the registration process.. This information is stored on a separate server and is not accessible to any internet browser or on-line enquirer.. Standard registration information is used in order to recognize return visitors to the site, and in order to send messages by e-mail or fax regarding queries or problems that arise during the registration process or during use of the site, and to inform registrants about future developments on Lowtax Network's group of websites and mobile applications.. Optional registration information, if supplied, may be used in order to vary the advertising that users see on site pages, and to make appropriate special offers of personalized information on the site.. Cookies are small text files which a website may put on your computer or mobile device when you visit a site or page.. Cookies help us provide you with tailored information on our website and to enhance your experience.. There are many functions cookies serve.. For example, they can help us to remember your username and preferences, analyse our website performance, and allow us to recommend content we believe will be most relevant to you.. Certain cookies contain personal information - for example, if you click 'remember me' when logging in, a cookie will store your username.. Most cookies won't collect information that identifies you, and will instead collect general information such as how users arrive at and use our website, or a user's general location.. Pop-up and pop-unders.. When you close a pop-up or pop-under box, a cookie will  ...   aboutcookies.. org.. Please note that by deleting cookies or disabling future cookies you may not be able to access certain areas or features of our website.. Tracking users who open our emails.. Our newsletters and emails may contain a 'web beacon pixel' or similar tracking to tell us whether our emails are opened and verify any clicks through to links or advertisements within the email.. We may use this information for purposes including determining which of our emails are more interesting to users, whether users who do not open our emails wish to continue receiving them and to inform our advertisers how many users have clicked on their advertisements.. The pixel will be deleted when you delete the email.. If you do not wish the pixel to be downloaded, you should request to receive emails from us in plain text rather than HTML.. If you have any queries regarding this Cookie Policy please contact our Privacy Officer at privacy.. officer@lowtax.. net.. The material contained on this site is the intellectual property of Wolters Kluwer TAA Limited and may not be reproduced, transmitted or copied by any means including photocopying or electronic transmission, without the express written permission of Lowtax.. net, except that the downloading of site information and printing of it for the personal use of a registrant is permitted.. This document was last updated on 24th October 2012.. Lowtax Forums.. Estonia.. 1 Topics.. St Kitts.. No topics yet.. 7 Topics.. Brunei.. 2 Topics.. 12 Topics.. 11 Topics.. St Vincent & the Grenadines.. 5 Topics.. Lowtax.. net General.. 367 Topics.. 4 Topics.. 9 Topics.. Personal Business Tax Guide.. 22 Topics.. 18 Topics.. 8 Topics..

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  • Title: Caught up in the Eye of the Storm
    Descriptive info: Caught up in the Eye of the Storm - by Kitty Miv, Editor.. 08 August 2013.. Follow @kitty_miv.. Kitty s Kountry Rankings are below, with a description of how they are kompiled.. This week, as every week, I give out three Encomiums to countries which have done Good Things, and award three Execrations for countries which according to my highly personal and partial views have done Bad Things.. A few years ago it was a sleepy backwater with a small but thriving business in warehousing mostly Italian wealth; then along came a tsunami of EU, OECD and Italian regulation and it was unlucky enough to be caught up in the eye of the storm as Italy, perhaps to show off to its own mentors, decided to make an example of it.. Now that.. the dust has settled.. , there is not much left of San Marino s previous livelihood, and it will have to re-invent itself, if it is able, as a specialist financial services provider.. After having done little or nothing to help (I can only imagine what they think of Rome in San Marino) Italy half redeemed itself at the end by signing through a halfway reasonable double tax treaty.. Other European one-time tax havens have shared a variety of fates, but only Madeira has had it as tough as San Marino, being virtually wiped out by the Portuguese.. Spain s Canary Islands and Andorra have played a better game, and have more or less survived, while Gibraltar, Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man, with the sometimes rather grudging support of the UK, have even thrived.. Monaco has kept a low profile under French skirts, while Luxembourg, Malta and Ireland are full members of the EU themselves.. Liechtenstein has a kind of semi-detached relationship with the EU, and has been left mostly untouched, while its protector Switzerland is still in the melee, not doing too well because of its attempts to be in the EU while not of it.. He who sups with the devil needs a long spoon.. This week the OECD even congratulated Jersey (Channel Islands of course, not New England) for its.. support of the transparency program.. , which had me rubbing my eyes, and is a testament to what engagement can bring you, whereas you can fairly say that San Marino was rather ostrich-like when the storm clounds threatened.. Jersey has managed to preserve its standing and its business fairly well untouched by the anti-offshore pogrom of the last 20 years.. Perhaps more importantly, though, it saw early on that the offshore that was going to survive would be one based on corporate business, rather than the traditional wealth protection model, and crafted for itself a series of specialist niches in which it is now well established.. New Zealand s tax authority was.. congratulating itself this week.. on being a good and faithful servant of the country and the Government, but the truth is that, while the revenue service is no doubt efficiently run, the credit needs to be given to the Government for having run a tight ship with business-friendly policies.. Corporate tax revenues are particularly healthy, and the Treasury expects a return to surplus in 2014/2015, as predicted.. This is all in sad contrast to the developing disaster area next door called Australia, which has been misgoverned for the last few years by one of the most fiscally inept administrations on the planet.. Not everyone with a handbag keeps a tight rein on expenditure.. The Australian Government has admitted that lower than expected economic growth has had a major impact on tax receipts.. The Treasury is.. expecting a shortfall.. of AUD33bn in receipts over the next five years.. But instead of cutting back dramatically on bloated costs, which would be the normal reaction of a prudent housekeeper, this left-wing government thinks that seeking to offset the drop in revenue by introducing budget cuts would risk both jobs and growth.. Instead, they will protect growth, employment and essential services, i.. e.. they will continue to spend money like there is no tomorrow.. Significantly, there is an election tomorrow, though, which probably explains their stance.. They are expected to lose, but they can still try to minimize the political damage, while gifting their successors a barren Treasury.. Whoever wins will have to wield the chopper with a vengeance.. By and large, the existing government has been anti-business, and the Australian Business Council has said that the country s tax system must be made more effective and competitive.. President Tony Shepherd says that Australia now stands at a crossroad.. What is needed is a comprehensive road map for the actions and changes required to seize our opportunities and avoid our nation slipping back.. The Council s Economic Action Plan for Enduring Prosperity warns that if the current approach to government spending is maintained, it will result in budget shortfall at both federal and state levels of 5 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) by 2050.. In current currency terms, this would equate to around AUD75bn (USD67.. 6bn).. Skipping from one socialist administration to another, it is frankly depressing to read President Obama s latest.. tax reform proposals.. , which seem to take no account of the bi-partisan work that has been done in Congress over recent months.. The intended tax rate of 28 percent is not globally competitive as he claims; you have to add an average state tax rate of 5 percent, taking it to 33 percent in total, which is equal to the highest rate in the EU, and a full 10 percentage points above the current world average.. Then,  ...   domestic product (GDP).. More posts from.. They comprehensively failed to agree on anything at all.. Just Like a Set of Dominoes Falling Over.. Real Estate Market Seems to be Back in Rude Health.. Nothing but a Talking Shop.. People Start Businesses in Order to Make Money.. Fudge is What's Going to Happen.. Getting Rid of the AMT.. An SEZ in the Waterlogged Fens Outside Cambridge.. A Letta for Šemeta.. Where Else Would a Russian Take her Money?.. Howls of Anguish from Detroit.. Not in the Cross-Hairs of Crusading Politicians Such as David Cameron.. Japan's Import Tariff On Rice Is – Wait For It – 778%!.. A Triumph of Treasury Arithmetic Over Economic Good Sense.. Just Throwing Good Money after Bad.. These Taxes are Usually Self-Defeating.. Clever Those Greeks.. Lots of Burrowing Around in Transfer Pricing Regulations.. Another bouquet for Canada to add to its existing florist's shop.. Covered in so Many Brass Plates you Can't See What it's Made of Underneath.. A Region which is Subject to Multiple Cross-Border Tensions.. Systematically Destroying Europe's Competitive Advantage.. SME's represent 90% or more of all companies.. Just another contraption for distancing people from their wealth.. The Washington Follies at least provided a piece of real news.. Dubai is now uncatchable as a business hub for the region.. The Prime Minister enjoyed joking that Kazakhstan was going to be part of Europe.. Why don't Jersey and Guernsey quit the UK?.. Bulgaria's independent currency will help it to levitate its way out of its problems.. The Gipper is smiling knowingly from his cloud.. The opposite of open-ness is protectionism.. Why is it that governments hate speculators?.. In taxation less is more.. France and Germany are going to pick up the tab.. Let them starve, would be my motto.. No rice, please.. We're Korean!.. Sun-soaked ex-British colonies.. Italians do it 'on the black'.. Burning Banknotes In The Street.. So Encrusted With Regulatory Barnacles.. Cut Their Own Bloated Payrolls.. A Scorched Earth Policy.. Islands, anyone?.. Uncontrolled Warrior Princes Dressed Up As Ministers.. The country's millionaires are heading for the exit.. Imagine Paying your Income Tax at your Local Walmart.. The Ineluctable Slide Towards a Grexit Continues.. Why do the nations so furiously rage together?.. Joining the European Union was an act of submission.. One should certainly cry for Argentina.. It's a straightforward socialist attack on business.. I can't tell you what is going to happen, but I don't like what I see.. Financial Transactions Tax, or 'How to destroy your banks in one easy lesson'.. My personal theory is that they gave up on government after Napoleon.. Old-fashioned is the name of a cocktail.. Or is it a high-ball?.. Neither could remember whether they had ever eaten one.. A Series of Shoddy, Venal And Sometimes Corrupt Governments.. Hong Kong Is At It All The Time.. Encomiums And Execrations.. The Faustian bargain between governments and banks - By Kitty Miv, Editor.. Being lead to think that the 'battle against offshore' is being won - By Kitty Miv, Editor.. The US Treasury doesn't display the bumbling incoherence of Brussels - By Kitty Miv, Editor.. It's only a matter of time before robots are given human rights - By Kitty Miv, Editor.. Welcome 1984, already 28 years late but coming to your living-room soon!.. Sex, drink and gambling - By Kitty Miv, Editor.. "I don't know," he said, "but I hope they're nowhere near the Isle of Man.. " - By Kitty Miv, Editor.. Because they are mis-educated, that's why! - By Kitty Miv, Editor.. Guaranteed to infuriate the Chinese - By Kitty Miv, Editor.. We are squirrels by nature, accumulating against a cold winter - By Kitty Miv, Editor.. The real Greek problem, in a nutshell - By Kitty Miv, Editor.. When bashing the rich is a good gimmick - By Kitty Miv, Editor.. Heading for a dust-up - By Kitty Miv, Editor.. If he has any sense he will quit his torture chamber - By Kitty Miv, Editor.. Kitty would like to be paid - By Kitty Miv, Editor.. Kitty in chains - By Kitty Miv, Editor.. Going to the dogs - By Kitty Miv, Editor.. Benjamin Franklin was wrong - By Kitty Miv, Editor.. Capitalism in 2012? - By Kitty Miv, Editor.. Kitty and the banks - By Kitty Miv, Editor.. Sowing the seeds of revolution - By Kitty Miv, Editor.. "It's the markets, stupid" - By Kitty Miv, Editor.. "What has posterity ever done for me?" - By Kitty Miv, Editor.. And the Devil take the hindmost! - By Kitty Miv, Editor.. Hobknobbing with Singapore finance officials - By Kitty Miv, Editor.. It's time we started to take referenda more seriously - By Kitty Miv, Editor.. The EU should cut Greece loose - By Kitty Miv, Editor.. The amazing success of the WTO - By Kitty Miv, Editor.. Bash The Rich! - By Kitty Miv, Editor.. Why The EU Is A Good Thing - By Kitty Miv, Editor.. Don't Bet On It - By Kitty Miv, Editor.. A Market In Countries - By Kitty Miv, Editor.. America the puzzled - By Kitty Miv, Editor.. Interested in blogging on Lowtax?.. We are currently accepting submissions!.. By hosting your blog on the network you or your company can expect to benefit from our very high traffic levels.. We boast one of the largest communities of professionals (tax, offshore, legal, etc) and HNWIs.. If you are already a blogger, but want a wider audience, you can move an existing blog to our network, or if you've never blogged before, why not have a go? We'll help you get started.. E-mail.. blogs@lowtax.. to learn more.. 31 Topics.. 6 Topics..

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  • Title: International Legal Services – Hong Kong By Lowtax Editorial
    Descriptive info: Thursday, August 08, 2013.. By Lowtax Editorial.. With the enactment of new legislation in the areas of arbitration and mediation, it is the Hong Kong Government’s professed goal to position the territory as a legal services centre of excellence serving the Asia Pacific region and beyond.. This feature explores these efforts so far.. Back in June 2011, shortly after Hong Kong’s new Arbitration Ordinance went into effect, Secretary for Justice, Wong Yan Lung, expressed the government's determination to underpin Hong Kong as a leading international arbitration centre in the Asia Pacific region.. At a joint reception organized by the Ministry of Justice and the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre, Wong said that, with the commencement of the new Arbitration Ordinance on June 1, 2011, Hong Kong had entered a new era with a brand new regulatory framework to enable arbitration to realize its full potential as a dispute resolution mechanism, and to further strengthen the city's credentials as the regional hub for international arbitration.. "The enactment of the new Ordinance is a testament to the concerted efforts of the government, the Legislative Council and the arbitration community," he stressed.. "According to a survey on international arbitration conducted by the School of International Arbitration at Queen Mary, University of London last year, 62% of the respondents opined that formal legal infrastructure or statutory framework was the most decisive factor in choosing a place of arbitration.. ”.. He pointed out that the new arbitration law was in tune with the latest and best international practice, and would become familiar and easily accessible to both local and foreign arbitration users and practitioners.. "With the clear policy in the new Ordinance that the court may intervene only in circumstances that are expressly provided for,” Wong said, “the new regulatory regime is in line with the objectives to achieve fair and speedy resolution of disputes and to avoid unnecessary costs.. ".. He explained that "other major features of the new Arbitration Ordinance include the protection of confidentiality in arbitration proceedings as well as court hearings related to those proceedings.. These provisions seek to strike more accurately the right balance between safeguarding confidentiality in arbitration and protecting the other substantive legal rights of the parties.. However, he remained convinced that “the single most crucial factor for the success of arbitration in Hong Kong is still human talent.. Without a close partnership with our first class legal and arbitration professionals, there is simply no way that Hong Kong can excel in this highly competitive area.. Wong had previously noted that the economic development of mainland China in recent years has generated substantial demand for more sophisticated and effective business dispute resolution mechanisms, and there is good potential for setting up a Greater China arbitration services platform with Hong Kong assuming an important role.. It has been disclosed that, on this matter, the Department of Justice has been in discussion with the relevant Mainland authorities, including the Supreme People's Court and the Ministry of Justice in Beijing, on how cooperation with the Mainland can be further enhanced.. Background To New Arbitration Ordinance.. Under the now repealed Arbitration Ordinance (Cap.. 341), there were separate regimes for the conduct of domestic and international arbitrations in Hong Kong.. The regime for domestic arbitration was largely based on the United Kingdom arbitration legislation, while the regime for international arbitration was based on the Model Law.. In 1998, the Hong Kong Institute of Arbitrators in co-operation with the HKIAC established a Committee on Hong Kong Arbitration Law to study reform of the arbitration law.. The Committee issued a report in 2003 recommending that the then Arbitration Ordinance be redrafted and a unitary regime with the Model Law governing both domestic and international arbitration be created.. The Department of Justice (DoJ) set up in September 2005 the Departmental Working Group to implement the Report of the Committee on Hong Kong Arbitration Law, chaired by the Solicitor General and comprising representatives of the legal profession, arbitration experts and relevant government officials, to formulate legislative proposals to implement the recommendations in the report of the Committee.. The DoJ published a Consultation Paper on Reform of the Law of Arbitration in Hong Kong and a draft Arbitration Bill on December 31, 2007 for a six-month consultation on the reform of the law of arbitration in Hong Kong.. With the draft Bill adopting the structure of the UNCITRAL (United Nations Commission on International Trade Law) Model Law on Arbitration as its framework, the purposes of the reform were:.. to make the law of arbitration more user-friendly to arbitration users both in and outside Hong Kong;.. to enable the Hong Kong business community and arbitration practitioners to operate an arbitration regime which accords with widely accepted international arbitration practices and development as the Model Law is familiar to practitioners from both civil law and common law jurisdictions;.. to attract more business parties to choose Hong Kong as the place to conduct arbitral proceedings, as Hong Kong will be seen as a Model Law jurisdiction; and.. to promote Hong Kong as a regional centre for dispute resolution.. The consultation period ended on June 30, 2008, and the DoJ reported to the Legislative Council Panel on Administration of Justice and Legal Services on February 23, 2009 on the outcome.. The Arbitration Bill was then introduced into the Legislative Council in June 2009, and a Bills Committee was formed by the Council to study the Bill.. The Bills Committee held 15 meetings with the Administration and received views from eight deputations at one of the meetings.. The new Arbitration Ordinance, Cap.. 609 was eventually enacted by the Legislative Council on November 10, 2010 and the new law came into effect on June 1, 2011.. New Legislative Framework For Arbitration.. The new Arbitration Ordinance arbitration law of Hong Kong unifies the legislative regimes for domestic and international arbitration on the basis of the Model Law with the intention that more international arbitration will be attracted to Hong Kong.. Arbitral awards made in Hong Kong can be enforced in all States party to the New York Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards.. Under the new law, there is no restriction on foreign law firms engaging in and advising on arbitration in Hong Kong, and parties in arbitration may retain advisers without restriction as to their nationalities and professional qualifications.. Included in the Ordinance are a number of recent initiatives proposed by the Model Law.. For example, the Hong Kong court is empowered to recognise and enforce interim measures ordered by an arbitration tribunal sitting outside Hong Kong.. The requirement that an arbitration agreement be in writing is extended to include electronic communications.. Other major features of the Ordinance are the provisions on the protection of confidentiality in arbitration proceedings as well as court hearings related to those proceedings.. To enhance confidentiality for international arbitration, the Ordinance provides that as a starting point, court proceedings relating to arbitration are not to be heard in open court.. Such proceedings will be heard in open court only if any party so applying can satisfy the court that for good reasons the proceedings ought to be heard in open court.. The Ordinance also provides that unless otherwise agreed by the parties or under any exceptions as provided for in the Ordinance, no party may publish, disclose or communicate any information relating to arbitral proceedings  ...   place Hong Kong in an even stronger position to meet the demand for high-end arbitration services".. The Vice Chairman of the CCPIT, Dong Songgen, said CIETAC had made impressive achievements in arbitration services involving foreign entities since its establishment in 1956.. He confirmed that "the establishment of the CIETAC Hong Kong Arbitration Centre is a requirement for CIETAC to achieve first class international status.. While this is a necessary development in the close partnership between Hong Kong and the Mainland, it is also needed for Hong Kong to become recognized as an international dispute resolution centre.. He was confident that the CIETAC Hong Kong Arbitration Centre “will become an international organization by leveraging on Hong Kong's advantages and co-operating with Hong Kong's arbitration services to achieve a win-win situation.. A conference on arbitration was held after the ceremony to promote greater use of arbitration in the business community and give participants a better understanding of the new centre and the development of arbitration services in both China and Hong Kong.. More than 200 people from the legal and arbitration services and representatives of commercial organisations attended the conference, during which they discussed the stepping up of co-operation between the arbitration services of Hong Kong and China.. Substantial progress has also been made with regard to closer cooperation between the legal professions of the Mainland and Hong Kong in the past two or three years.. The China and Hong Kong Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA) Supplement VIII, signed in December 2011, had put forth new measures to foster closer co-operation between the legal professions of the Mainland and Hong Kong, and to explore ways of improving the association of law firms of the two places.. Under CEPA Supplement IX, signed in June 2012, Hong Kong law firms that have set up representative offices in the Mainland are also allowed to operate in association with one to three Mainland law firms.. Arbitration Agreement With Macao.. On January 7, 2013, Secretary for Yuen, and Macao’s Secretary for Administration and Justice, Florinda Chan, signed a bilateral arrangement to provide for the mutual recognition and enforcement of arbitral awards in both places.. Under the Arrangement, Hong Kong’s courts will recognize and enforce arbitral awards made in Macao pursuant to Macao’s laws of arbitration, and Macao’s courts will recognize and enforce arbitral awards made in Hong Kong pursuant to its Arbitration Ordinance.. Where a party fails to comply with an arbitral award, whether made in Hong Kong or in Macao, the other party may apply to the relevant court, in the place where the party against whom the application is filed is domiciled or the place in which the property of the said party is situated, for recognition and enforcement of the award.. The arrangement was made in accordance with the provisions in the Basic Law of both places.. The content of the arrangement is also made in accordance with the spirit of the New York Convention, and is broadly similar to the existing arrangements on the same issue between Hong Kong and China and between Macao and China.. It is expected that the conclusion of the arrangement will add certainty to the enforceability of Macao arbitral awards in Hong Kong and vice versa, and provide a simple and effective mechanism in both jurisdictions on reciprocal enforcement of arbitral awards.. It should also foster legal and judicial co-operation between Hong Kong and Macao in civil and commercial matters, and enhance Hong Kong's position as a regional arbitration centre for commercial disputes in Asia Pacific.. During his stay in Macao, Yuen also took the opportunity to visit other legal and judicial organizations in Macao, including the Secretariat for Administration and Justice and Legal Affairs Bureau, with the purpose of enhancing the mutual exchanges and relations of the two sides in legal and judicial matters.. Mediation Ordinance.. Hong Kong’s new Mediation Ordinance, which was enacted in June last year, was published in the Government Gazette in October 2012 and came into operation on January 1, 2013.. The Ordinance provides a regulatory framework for the conduct of mediation without hampering the flexibility of the mediation process.. The aim of the Ordinance is to promote, encourage and facilitate the resolution of disputes by mediation, and to protect the confidential nature of mediation communication.. "With mediation becoming increasingly used in many different jurisdictions around the world to resolve disputes other than through litigation in the courts, the Ordinance will enhance Hong Kong's status as a leading centre for dispute resolution in the Asia-Pacific region," a spokesman for the Justice Department said.. Mediation is a structured process in which an impartial mediator, without adjudicating a dispute, assists the parties to identify the issue in dispute, and explore ways in which a resolution can be reached.. The Hong Kong Mediation Accreditation Association Limited was incorporated and established in August this year.. Mediation communication is confidential and must not be disclosed except under situations as specified in the Ordinance.. The Ordinance provides legal certainty regarding the confidentiality and admissibility of mediation communications in evidence, and standardizes the terminology and Chinese renditions for ‘mediation’ and conciliation’.. As part of the government's determination to develop Hong Kong into a regional dispute resolution centre, in particular as an international arbitration hub in the Asia Pacific, the Secretary for Justice, Wong Yan Lung, announced that an industry-led single accreditation body for mediators would be set up in the city.. Addressing an audience of overseas and local mediation experts at the "Mediate First" conference in May 2012, Wong said the Mediation Task Force was working hard on the detailed constitution of this body - the Hong Kong Mediation Accreditation Association (HKMAA).. "The Association will perform the role of the premier accreditation body for mediators in Hong Kong, discharging accreditation and disciplinary functions,” Wong confirmed.. “The current thinking is that the four major mediation service providers, namely the Law Society of Hong Kong, the Hong Kong Bar Association, the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre and the Hong Kong Mediation Centre, will be (its) founding members.. Previously, some 1,600 mediators in Hong Kong were accredited by a number of different bodies, each adopting its own training and accreditation criteria.. The establishment of the Association adopting a standardized accreditation system has therefore helped enhance public confidence in mediation services.. Wong said that mediation as a dispute resolution method “had taken root in Hong Kong," adding that one particularly noteworthy venture is the setting up of the Financial Dispute Resolution Centre (FDRC) by the government with the support of the financial institutions.. The FDRC was established in mid-2012, and aims to provide an independent and affordable avenue for resolving monetary disputes between individual clients and financial institutions.. It is said that Hong Kong’s mediation law is now in line with the latest and best international practice, is easily accessible to both local and foreign arbitration users and practitioners, and achieves the fair and speedy resolution of disputes to avoid unnecessary costs.. The text of the Mediation Ordinance (Cap:620) can be read.. www.. lowtax.. has more than 50 pages of information about Hong Kong covering offshore business, e-commerce, the tax and legal infrastructure and investment opportunities, which can be viewed by clicking on the following.. link.. Tags:.. court.. law.. tax.. construction.. enforcement.. legislation.. Asia Pacific.. contractors.. professionals.. agreements.. Brazil.. Cambodia.. Back to Features List.. 24 Topics.. 23 Topics.. Cyprus.. 20 Topics.. 3 Topics.. 17 Topics..

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  • Title: An Introspective Frenzy of Regulation
    Descriptive info: An Introspective Frenzy of Regulation - by Kitty Miv, Editor.. 01 August 2013.. Kitty's Kountry Rankings are below, with a description of how they are kompiled.. 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.. All eyes are now on Shinzo Abe, Japanese Prime Minister, who has to deliver domestically contentious cuts to agricultural tariffs if Japan is to fulfil its side of the trade bargain.. Step one has been achieved with last week's elections which gave him control of both houses of parliament, but there is a long way to go, and he has to avoid the temptations of constitutional tinkering in preference to the grittier tariff reform process.. Meanwhile China has responded in what seems to be.. a highly practical way.. to weakness in its growth path, if a 0.. 2 percent reduction in growth from 7.. 7 to 7.. 5 percent can be called weakness.. Broadly the measures are aimed at removing barriers to the flow of trade, but they also include some actual tariff cuts.. An exemption from VAT and business tax for SMEs with annual turnover below about USD35,000 seems particularly helpful.. The new Chinese leadership, whatever their political credentials, certainly seems to be off to a good start in economic terms.. They also made progress this week on.. a trade deal with Australia.. , which has just been revivified after eight years of stop/go talks.. China said that Australia had made constructive proposals, while Australia said it was "committed to reinvigorating FTA negotiations with China and delivering an agreement which offers greater prosperity for both countries.. Even when it tries to reduce taxes, it seems that the French Government can't get things right.. It's trying to rearrange the capital gains tax regime allowing.. increased tax reductions.. depending on the holding period, with total exemption from real estate capital gains tax granted after a 22-year holding period, instead of 30 years as is currently the case.. In addition, there are progressive reductions in matching social levies (the CSG general social contribution and CRDS contribution for the repayment of social debt), and a total exemption from social contributions will be accorded after a 30-year holding period.. But the French national real estate federation FNAIM insists that the Government has failed to tackle the root of the problem and to simplify the regime.. The federation emphasizes that the Government should have introduced a simpler regime, akin to the system in place in France up until 2004.. Under this regime, regular tax reduction increments of 5 percent a year were accorded, starting from the third year of the holding period until total exemption was granted for a 22-year holding term.. Air France's unions are up in arms, too, over plans to increase the country's tax imposed on airline tickets next year.. Dubbed the "Chirac tax," the charge was introduced in France in 2006 by former French President Jacques Chirac.. Levied at a rate of EUR1 on single intra-European flights in economy class, and up to a rate of EUR40 on international business flights, the product of the levy flows to finance the fight against AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria in developing countries.. French President François Hollande has pledged to increase the tax in 2014, perhaps by as much as 10  ...   countries) don't like, they can be changed.. Corporates are passive in this.. But it's unlikely that countries will want to change them: while the UK has been mounting its BEPS charger, lance at the ready, it has also been burnishing its 10 percent IP regime, to Germany's tartly expressed dismay.. How likely is it that the UK will be prepared to abandon its 10 percent regime unless all of the other "patent box" countries in Europe do the same? Then it's a question of transfer pricing, for which plentiful rules exist: if a German company (say Volkswagen or Bayer) locates its IP in the UK, presumably accompanied by a large research department, the licensing price that UK Bayer can charge its operating subsidiary in Poland is dictated by economic realities.. That's what the G20 wants, isn't it? If the IP economic activity (research) takes place in the UK, then it is being correctly taxed.. It's just impossible to see what changes can be made that won't simply add bureaucracy and reduce European competitivity.. And that's the second thing that's wrong: the EU is doing nothing to enhance the continent's competitivity.. On the contrary, it has worked itself into an introspective frenzy of regulation in banking, insurance, fund investment and other sectors which will drive out enterprise.. Its efforts to address the very real problem of youth unemployment are simply footling.. There are two problems in Europe which the Commission could and should be addressing: debt and cost, with the two interacting in a vicious circle which is destroying economic capacity.. Governments owe too much money and they spend too much money, with the result that taxes are too high and choke off "animal spirits.. " Even in the UK, which almost alone among EU governments has made an effort to reduce costs, debt is continuing to rise.. The conventional wisdom is that, oh it's OK because once the economic cycle turns the money will come flooding back in.. But what if it doesn't turn? The EU is in total denial on this score; there is a serious failure of leadership.. People like Van Rompuy and Barroso should be leading the charge against excessive government cost, instead of which they spend their time tormenting business.. Kitty's Encomiums and Execrations.. Methodology: each week (this is the 63rd) two or three countries are given encomiums and two or three are given execrations.. In the following week, each encomium counts as + 1 for that country, and each execration counts as – 1, being added to that country's existing score.. Germany is on + 1, since in the second week it had an execration and in the first week it had an encomium, leaving it at neutral; then it had an execration in week four, thus dropping to – 1, and another one in week six, dropping to – 2; finally in week 13 it got something right, so it went back up to – 1; then in week 16 it gained a further star, so then it was in neutral territory until week 23 when it dropped back to minus one, but reverting to neutral territory in the following week, then dropping to minus one in week 50, and back up to plus one in week 51, then to plus two in week 52.. Last week it dropped a place, though.. Kitty's Encomiums:.. gets something right.. China.. being pragmatic.. France.. makes an effort.. trading first.. And Kitty's Execrations:.. European Union.. adrift without a compass.. Europe.. trade.. G20.. standards.. Japan.. European Union (EU).. investment.. Chile.. banking.. insurance..

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  • Title: Shipping and Aviation Tax Sponsored by Privacy Unlimited
    Descriptive info: Thursday, July 25, 2013.. Sponsored by.. Privacy Unlimited.. Shipping/Aviation EU VAT.. Yachts.. It is the task of the European Commission in Brussels to police the EU’s tax rules, in the interests of maintaining a level competitive playing field across all 28 Member States.. Therefore, tax regimes which distort the single market or flout the key legal principles underpinning it, like freedom of establishment, and the free movement of capital, are frequently attacked.. As can be seen below, the European Commission has intervened in a number of cases affecting the taxation of yachts in recent months, leading to changes in tax rules in the Member States concerned.. However, ongoing fiscal austerity and an increased emphasis on tax compliance is also relevant to yacht owners, as witnessed by the recent actions of the Italian tax authorities, also mentioned below.. France – Yacht Charters Subject To VAT.. A notice issued by the French tax authority last month announced that pleasure yachting charter arrangements would be newly subject to value-added tax (VAT) from July 15, 2013.. The announcement followed the European Commission's decision to send a formal request to the French authorities in November 2012 requiring that the nation revoke a value-added tax exemption offered on the charter of yachts used for pleasure boating purposes.. In its reasoned opinion, the Commission explained that Article 148 of the EU VAT Directive allows member states to offer a VAT exemption for certain transactions concerning vessels.. However, this exemption does not apply to luxury boats used by individuals for recreational purposes.. This was confirmed by the European Court of Justice in a case in December 2010, involving Bacino Charter Company SA.. The court determined that a VAT exemption may only be granted in circumstances where a vessel is chartered for use on the high seas, for the purposes of commercial, industrial or fishing activities, but not recreational purposes.. France intends to offer a 50 percent VAT reduction to chartering arrangements impacted by the ruling, bringing them within the French VAT net but subjecting them to VAT at a rate of 9.. 8 percent, rather than the headline rate of 19.. 6 percent.. Further guidance on this matter is expected from French tax authorities in due course.. In the interim, the French tax authority has released "BOI-VAT-FIELD-30-30-30-10-20130625," providing preliminary guidance on the intended changes.. Spain – Repeals Yacht Registration Tax.. The European Union was also instrumental in the removal of the unpopular Spanish yacht registration tax on yacht charters.. This 12 percent tax was applied on the first registration of yachts of greater than 15 meters in length, and the Spanish maritime industry had argued that the imposition of VAT on top of the registration duty amounted to double taxation.. The registration duty has now been repealed after proceedings were launched by the European Commission following an investigation which found that Spain's tax treatment of yacht charter arrangements contravened European Union rules including on the free movement of goods.. Carlos Sanlorenzo, the Secretary General of ANEN, the Spanish marine trade industry association, commented: "The involvement and support we have had from the Directorate General of the Merchant Navy in recent years has been instrumental in achieving this outcome.. The Ministry of Finance has now given the green light for the elimination of the registration duty on charter sailing, removing the onerous combined tax rate [of 33 percent] in recognition of the benefits to the economy of pleasure yachting, and the sector's tax contribution.. According to ANEN, the recreational boating industry in Spain directly and indirectly supports 107,000 jobs, and generates gross value added to the economy worth approximately EUR5.. 69bn annually.. UK – Must End Fuel Duty Concession.. The European Union has also been active recently in trying to crack down on the use of lower taxed fuel by owners of pleasure boats in the UK.. In May, the European Commission confirmed that it had formally requested that UK amend its legislation to ensure that owners of private pleasure boats, such as luxury yachts, can no longer buy lower taxed fuel intended for fishing boats, known in the UK as "red diesel.. Under European Union rules on fiscal marking for fuels, fuel benefiting from a reduced tax rate has to be marked by coloured dye.. In the United Kingdom, red diesel – so-called as it is marked with red dye – attracts a duty rate up to 40 percent lower and may be used only in the farming, fishing and forestry industries.. EU rules stipulate however that while fishing vessels may benefit from fuel subject to a lower tax rate, private boats must use fuel subject to the standard rate.. The UK was allowed to offer the concession to pleasure boating until 2006 when a transitional period ended.. In an effort to retain the concession, the UK developed a regime whereby pleasure boat owners could continue to use "red diesel" provided they acknowledge that its use is only permitted within UK waters, i.. not in the rest of the EU.. However, the European Commission has pointed out that UK law does not require fuel distributors to have two separate fuel tanks, i.. one marked for red diesel and one for fuel subject to the standard tax rate.. As a consequence, private leisure boat owners often do not have access to fuel subject to full duty, placing these vessels at risk of heavy penalties if they travel to another member state's waters.. The Commission has now formally requested that the United Kingdom should change the regime to ensure that the use of red diesel is restricted to fishing vessels only.. The UK was given two months to comply with the request or risk having the matter referred to the European Court of Justice.. Italy –Taxman on the Warpath.. Meanwhile, yacht owners in Italy are choosing to sail their yachts away from the country amid a large-scale investigation into the tax affairs of the wealthy.. Italy, the country where tax evasion is perceived to be a national sport, has decided to crack down on tax evasion to restore its public finances.. After a similar campaign on luxury ski resorts, Italian tax officials are investigating high-end yachts, in particular those over 20 metres in length, with a view to finding owners who have possibly declared low or zero income on their annual tax returns.. It was said that around one quarter of the almost 1,000 yachts moored in one Italian marina were owned by taxpayers who had declared no income or extraordinarily low income.. The Government has also implemented a new tax on yachts as part of the recent austerity package of up to EUR700 per day, adding to the massive outflow of Italian yachts towards foreign shores in the Mediterranean Sea.. As a response to this, it is said that an estimated 30,000 yachts have already left the country.. High net worth individuals are not the  ...   will not follow suit with the UK government's decision to begin taxing small business aircraft under the APD regime.. The Isle of Man has no plans to reciprocate, Teare has confirmed, meaning that tax will only be due on flights inbound to the island.. The Isle of Man government has confirmed that 19-seat aircraft will not be subject to APD, although the Treasury is considering whether extending APD to other business jet sizes would impact the island's economic opportunities and the growth of the Isle of Man Aircraft Registry.. “Air passengers aboard 19-seat aircraft could potentially have been faced with paying an additional GBP13 on both legs of their journeys between the UK and Isle of Man,” Teare commented.. “However, we have taken the decision not to introduce this duty on the Isle of Man to UK leg of flights.. Whilst I will continue to raise the matter with my UK counterparts, the extension of APD to passengers aboard 19-seat planes on travel from the UK to the island is ultimately a matter for the UK government.. In the context of the island, I believe that maintaining the status quo and not introducing it is the preferable solution, as a number of routes operated from the Isle of Man are served by aircraft that fall into this category.. The Isle of Man Aircraft Registry has witnessed substantial demand since it was launched in May 2007 and there are now over 500 aircraft on the register, making it the fastest growing offshore register in the world.. Its client base is global and the success of the Registry means that the Isle of Man is now home to a world-class group of companies who offer support services for owners and operators of corporate and private jets.. According to the findings of a 2012 survey conducted by aviation publication 'Corporate Jet Investor', which sought the views of leading aviation lawyers globally, the Isle of Man offers the world's most attractive registry for non-commercial aircraft.. HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).. tax compliance.. aviation.. individuals.. accounting.. tax authority.. European Commission.. Every maritime or aircraft vehicle owner, whether a businessman or a private person, requires a flag for their vehicle, i.. the vehicle is to be registered.. In the world of today, we see that a significant amount of vessels are registered in the so-called “offshore jurisdictions” that have developed their Maritime and Aircraft Management Legislation specifically to attract international customers.. What are the benefits that convince businessmen and private individuals to choose registration under the “offshore” flag?.. Here is a short-list:.. Security and confidentiality.. Transfer of vehicle ownership to a corporate body registered somewhere outside of the highly regulated jurisdictions gives enhanced privacy to vehicle owners.. Low taxation or total exemption from taxation on registration and ownership of ships and aircraft.. Having a vehicle registered, say, in Malta or in the British Virgin Islands, allows you to minimize or even attain zero taxation on income derived from the lease/operation of a boat/aircraft used for international transport.. Simplicity and convenience of registration procedures.. Many of the offshore jurisdictions have straight-forward and simple registration procedures saving clients both time and effort.. Registration of a boat or an aircraft can be done remotely, without the need for the vehicle owner to travel.. Today,.. is among the most popular and admitted jurisdictions for its strong maritime and aviation sectors.. Malta's respected flag and established connections with both European and non European states make it a convenient platform for international shipping or aircraft business.. The Maltese Merchant Shipping Act was introduced in 1973; today, the Maltese Register is the second largest in Europe and the eighth largest in the world.. The enactment of the Aircraft registration act on 1 October 2010 was also designed to put Malta at the forefront of the aviation industry.. “Our aim is to create a cluster specifically for the aviation sector where Malta can attract and support the growth of a number of businesses”.. - Mario Galea, Business Development of Malta Enterprise, Government agency for economic development said.. Malta currently provides one of the most tax-efficient regimes for international shipping and aircraft operations.. It opens up to Maltese-resident shipping and aircraft operators the planning points applicable in respect of foreign source income, whilst enabling them to make use of Malta’s wide network of double tax treaties.. The income derived from the ownership/lease/operation of a boat/aircraft used for international transport is considered a non-resident income, which is not subject to the local taxation.. Shipping/aviation income receivable by a foreign incorporated, Maltese resident entity, is only subject to tax in Malta if remitted to Malta.. These provisions of the local tax legislation make Malta a very attractive jurisdiction for re-domiciliation of foreign companies conducting international shipping and aviation operations.. More on incorporation in Malta can be found at.. http://www.. privacy-solutions.. com/maltese-company.. html.. The.. is another well-recognized offshore jurisdiction that has a long Ship Management history.. It passed the Merchant Shipping (Registration) Act 1984 in order to encourage the registration of ships on the island and there is a zero-tax regime for ship management companies based there.. In August, 2006, the Isle of Man reached the White List of the Paris MOU and in the same year was admitted by The Round Table of International Shipping Associations as the best shipping registry in the world in terms of safety, environmental and social factors.. Since then, the Isle of Man Ship Registry announced some important changes to it’s operating practices to enhance it’s registration process.. The registration procedures and requirements were simplified and the range of accepted ship types was expanded.. The Register also extended the number of countries accepted for ownership of ship vessels, thus making Isle of Man flagging more attractive for international clients.. In 2006, the government announced the introduction of an Aircraft Register.. Unlike most other registries, where both private and commercially operated aircraft are accepted, the Isle of Man’s register is focussed solely on high quality private and corporate aircraft.. It is supported by the Island’s well established banking sector, lawyers familiar with aviation law, insurance companies which can provide cover without the addition of an insurance premium tax and corporate service providers experienced in structuring companies to take advantage of the Island’s beneficial tax regime.. You may find out more about the advantages for companies in the Isle of Man at.. com/isle-of-man-incorporation.. Since the Registry was established, over 500 high quality private and corporate jets and twin turbine-engine helicopters have been registered.. Despite the economic downturn in the rest of the world, the Registry continues its impressive growth.. These are just a few of examples showing that yacht and aircraft owners can significantly adjust their tax burden by transferring their vehicles ownership to more tax-efficient jurisdictions.. Contact.. P.. O.. Box 31291,.. Al Jazeera Al Hamra,.. Ras Al Khaimah,.. UAE.. Tel: +971 7 2434464.. Email:.. office@privacy-solutions.. Web:.. privacy-solutions.. UK.. 10 Topics..

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  • Title: Not One Uncivil Servant has Been Fired
    Descriptive info: Not One Uncivil Servant has Been Fired - by Kitty Miv, Editor.. 25 July 2013.. I m searching in vain for ways to reward countries this week: no-one has reduced taxes; no government has said that it is reducing the number of tax audits it carries out because companies are becoming more accurate and open; and not one uncivil servant has been fired, although the Greek Parliament has reluctantly agreed to swallow some of that medicine not of course because it wants to or believes in making savings, but simply in order to get hold of the next, EUR6bn tranche of bail-out money which it won t otherwise receive.. Needless to say the Unions immediately called a general strike.. How many is that in the last couple of years? Probably the casualties will all be hired back again on short-term contracts anyway, in a way that won t be obvious to the Troika.. Given the number of ways in which the Greek Government is choosing to defy the Troika, for instance this week through its continued provision of illegitimate subsidies to.. the State gaming sector.. , it is difficult to think that the Government has changed its ways to any significant extent.. How do you repair a broken governance model? It s reasonably straightforward for a company: the shareholders sack the Board and put in an improved version.. But with countries there is this inconvenient thing called democracy, and the ability of governments to bribe the electorate in countless minor and major ways, until the whole body politic is rotten.. That unfortunately is the case with Greece, and no amount of visits from Brussels suits is going to get at the real problem.. I don t know what will; it s depressing.. So my bouquets this week will have to go to the UE and the US for managing to have a.. first TTIP negotiation.. without the French walking out sulkily over their exception culturelle, or the US motor industry attacking State Aid for Renault, Fiat or Volkswagen.. Pascal Lamy, about to leave the WTO after two terms as Director-General, reflected a little sourly over the number of bilateral or trilateral or quadrilateral trade deals taking place while the Doha Round continues to shuffle sideways.. Nobody but nobody has done more for world trade in the last ten years, so you can empathize with him without necessarily agreeing.. People talk about the WTO having been diminished by the failure of the Doha Round, but I don t see it that way.. Various countries have been accused of standing in the way of a Doha accord, but more likely it isn t the fault of any one country or group of countries; probably the Round was too ambitious in the first place.. What the seemingly endless negotiations will have achieved is to show individual groupings what is in fact possible, and they have gone off and done it through the plethora of FTAs that have been and are being signed.. These in turn act as a spur to competition for trading partners that get left out, and by now there is a dizzying array of FTAs of all shapes and sizes.. Quite often these separate agreements do make use of WTO dispute resolution procedures and treaty fine print, so that all the time, the sum total of unresolved trading territory becomes smaller and smaller.. The gap between what exists and what the framers of Doha originally wanted is now far smaller than it was ten years ago, and it becomes correspondingly more likely that Doha will, in time, come into being.. As we predicted in this column a while ago, Germany s attempt to tax the life out of tobacco users under the pretext of improving their health has.. run into the buffers.. In Continental Europe, Germany, France, Belgium, the Netherlands and the Scandinavian countries form a contiguous bloc of relatively  ...   and sustained for political purposes by the likes of Margaret Hodge in the UK and a number of Democratic senators in the US, but where are the street parades of corporate taxation activists, demanding fairness from MNEs? The vast majority of voters and taxpayers haven t the faintest clue as to how corporate tax is calculated and paid or not paid, and the same appears to be true of Margaret Hodge and her ilk.. This is posturing, pure and simple.. As for the OECD, whose employees by the way pay no tax and which has a sumptuous Paris headquarters with a massive wine cellar fit for a prince, it is a deeply suspect organization with no democratic legitimacy or official position other than the roles that have been bestowed on it by government organizations such as the G20.. Back in the 20th century it played a useful part in supplying economic statistics to governments, but its current inflated degree of self-aggrandisement has come about because of a largely left-wing anti-business movement among high-taxing Continental European countries, aimed at reducing tax competition between OECD members and low-tax countries, which played out between 1990 and 2010, and ended up by thoroughly capturing the OECD.. It is true (see, I can be fair as well) that the OECD s Model Tax Treaty is useful, as is some of its work on transfer pricing.. Now we come to the final sentence, which is a straightforward untruth.. It s not the case that governments now have to cope with less revenue and higher cost to ensure compliance.. Again, there are no figures to support this ludicrous assertion, which is palpably false.. Presumably the words are directed at corporate taxation, but it s impossible to separate out corporate tax from the general burden of taxation, and almost without exception, the proportion of GDP taken in tax has risen over the last ten years in each of the OECD s 34 member states, and continues to rise.. It s the over-taxation of individuals and businesses by governments to raise money to fritter away on what we can loosely call pork which leads to a sense of unfairness on the part of taxpayers, and causes them to try to optimize, not always within the strict letter of the law.. For almost all of the OECD s member states, tax is running in the mid-forties as a percentage of GDP, and this is at least 10 percentage points above the level that people consider reasonable.. Instead of acting as the Finance Ministers poodle, the OECD would do more for humanity if it returned to its original role of being a business-friendly, statistical organization.. Better still, it should be abolished.. Anyway, it will achieve nothing with its latest initiative, other than the destruction of a large number of perfectly innocent trees and the erection of yet more layers of bureaucracy to waste the resources of company finance departments.. Methodology: each week (this is the 62nd) two or three countries are given encomiums and two or three are given execrations.. Germany is on + 2, since in the second week it had an execration and in the first week it had an encomium, leaving it at neutral; then it had an execration in week four, thus dropping to 1, and another one in week six, dropping to 2; finally in week 13 it got something right, so it went back up to 1; then in week 16 it gained a further star, so then it was in neutral territory until week 23 when it dropped back to minus one, but reverting to neutral territory in the following week, then dropping to minus one in week 50, and back up to plus one in week 51, then to plus two in week 52.. EU and US.. all sweetness and light.. Germany.. puffing away.. Greece.. still in hot water.. employees.. audit.. Finance.. compliance..

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  • Title: HMRC Clarifies Stamp Duty Group Relief
    Descriptive info: By Amanda Banks, Tax-News.. com, London.. Last updated 16 hours ago | Sunday, August 11, 2013.. HM Revenue and Customs has issued a clarification confirming that intra-group transactions are eligible for group relief on Stamp Duty Land Tax.. The announcement follows a meeting with representative bodies about the application of a Targeted Anti-Avoidance Rule introduced in 2003 and restrictions on clawback rules.. The tax body has now confirmed that relief is available should a business choose to acquire a property-owning company rather than acquiring a property from a company, and that the property can then be transferred into a different company within the purchasing group.. The purchaser may then wind up or liquidate the acquired company.. Further, the tax treatment will be the same even if the purchaser only becomes a member of a group for  ...   not form part of any larger scheme or arrangement which might have tax consequences.. HMRC met with the British Property Federation, the Chartered Institute of Taxation, the Law Society, and the Stamp Taxes Practitioners' Group prior to issuing the clarification.. PwC's Paul Emery, who specializes in stamp duty land tax, was quoted as saying that HMRC had stopped giving clearances while considering the line between genuine commercial transactions and tax avoidance, and that the uncertainty "has gummed up genuine commercial transactions, as businesses assess the tax cost of their real estate transactions and corporate reorganizations.. " He added: "HMRC has now acknowledged that buying companies instead of their individual assets is normal commercial practice.. real-estate.. stamp duty.. tax avoidance.. Comments.. Read our.. Posting Guidelines.. Be the first to comment on this story.. Write a comment.. Recommended..

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  • Title: Germany Planning Fiscal Stimulus
    Descriptive info: by Ulrika Lomas, Tax-News.. com, Brussels.. The International Monetary Fund in its Article IV consultation with Germany has recommended that policymakers use excess revenues achieved last year to cut taxes on labor.. The Fund reported that Germany posted a fiscal surplus of 0.. 1 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) last year, substantially outperforming projections that the nation would post a fiscal deficit of 0.. 8 percent of GDP.. The Fund has endorsed Germany's proposed fiscal course of loosening the fiscal stance to further support the economy rather than using the unexpected fiscal gains to pay down the deficit.. The IMF welcomed measures taken since its last 2012 review to increase labor force participation rates of secondary earners and low-income workers through cutting the contribution rate for statutory pension insurance, coupled  ...   the European Union, and secondary earners still face significant disincentives due in particular to the joint taxation of income for married couples and the free health insurance coverage for non-working spouses.. German authorities, discussing fiscal plans for the year ahead, agreed with the IMF's analysis and reiterated their commitment to a supportive fiscal stance.. They said: "The fiscal stance in 2013 will even be mildly expansionary given a considerable reduction in taxes, social insurance contributions and fees totaling nearly EUR8bn for companies and private citizens.. The German Government concluded: "While my authorities also agree that fiscal overperformance should be avoided (ie.. excess revenues should be reinvested), the recent better-than-expected outcome in Germany largely reflects reform dividends without exercising a dampening impact on economic activity.. individual income tax.. fees.. dividends.. fiscal policy..

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  • Title: Luxembourg, Switzerland Vie For RMB Crown
    Descriptive info: Competition for Renminbi business is heating up between Switzerland and Luxembourg with both territories reporting details of their success in the area to date.. A recent statement from Luxembourg's Minister for Finance Luc Frieden concerning Luxembourg's ambition to position itself as the leading international Renminbi center in the Euro area comes on the heels of a report from the Swiss Bankers Association discussing Switzerland's appeal for Renminbi-denominated wealth and asset management business.. Frieden is confident that Luxembourg has firmly established itself as the market leader.. He pointed out that Luxembourg is home to RMB40bn (USD6.. 5bn) in deposits; RMB62bn in loans provided by Luxembourg banks; and about 39 RMB-denominated bonds are listed on the Luxembourg Stock Exchange with a combined value of RMB24bn.. "The figures speak for themselves and confirm that Luxembourg is already today de facto the leading international RMB center in the euro area," he said.. He continued: "Luxembourg is known for its advanced economic, legal and regulatory system, as well as its very efficient financial system paired with an international dimension.. Naturally the internationalization of the Renminbi has impacted our financial center, given the fact that the financial services provided in Luxembourg are by essence international and serve a market that largely transcends the domestic one.. "The first Renminbi-denominated bond outside of Greater China was listed at the Luxembourg Stock Exchange in September 2011.. Our banks and our financial institutions have already gained valuable experience in this area and so we did not only discover the Renminbi today.. " He  ...   to account for more than one third of world's economic output by 2016, according to IMF estimates.. The Bankers Association pointed out that "as a global payment currency, the Renminbi has moved from position 35 in October 2010 to number 13 in only two years.. Some 12 percent of China’s external trade is currently settled in Renminbi, an almost six-fold increase in three years.. Today, more than 10,000 financial institutions conduct business in Renminbi, up from 900 two years ago.. By 2015 Chinese companies expect one-third of Chinese external trade to be Renminbi-denominated.. ".. According to the association, thousands of banking clients already hold accounts in Renminbi, with assets in custody or under management exceeding RMB10bn.. It anticipates that the Swiss financial center will receive a considerable boost when the comprehensive free trade agreement with China takes effect.. "Switzerland was the first country in Europe (with the exception of Iceland) to conclude such an agreement with China," it pointed out.. The Swiss Government outlined in December 2012 a blueprint for establishing Switzerland as a hub for Renminbi businesses.. Looking ahead, the report notes that efforts are under-way which might eventually lead to the establishment of a RMB-CHF swap line between the People‘s Bank of China and the Swiss National Bank.. This would greatly facilitate Renminbi clearing by a bank located in Switzerland, lowering transaction costs and highlighting Switzerland’s position as a European hub for China and Renminbi business, the Association believes.. offshore banking.. tax havens.. international financial centres (IFC).. Iceland.. environment.. currency.. Construction..

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  • Title: BHP Billiton Chief Talks Australian Tax System
    Descriptive info: by Mary Swire, Tax-News.. com, Hong Kong.. Friday, August 09, 2013.. Whomever wins Australia's upcoming general election will need to be prepared to talk tax, the head of BHP Billiton has said.. Speaking at the Asia Society's Business of Asia luncheon in Melbourne, Andrew Mackenzie said that the global resources company was Australia's biggest taxpayer.. BHP's tax and royalty payments last year added up to USD9bn, which Mackenzie explained made up more than three-quarters of the company's global tax outlay, and equated to a tax rate of 45 percent.. Approximately 70 percent of BHP's 2012 profits were generated in the country, and over USD17bn is spent on day-to-day operations, with  ...   we need to talk about to encourage Australia's competitiveness.. " In particular, the manner in which emissions are taxed remains a cause for concern.. Mackenzie stressed that whomever emerges victorious from September's contest will need to "work through" these problems, and expressed his hope that "we can have a long-ranging and deep conversation about the country's competitiveness and the competitiveness of an industry that is pivotal to the Australian economy.. "Only a handful of countries, of which Australia is one, can currently deliver the volume of resources required for Asia's continued economic growth.. Australia's resources industry is worth backing," Mackenzie added.. tax planning.. tax rates.. tax incentives.. tax breaks.. revenue statistics..

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