Tax Avoidance


Blighted Blighty

Posted on November 30th, by Global Tax Weekly in Budgets, Corporation Tax, Tax Avoidance. No Comments

If you own or run a business, the United Kingdom Government claims to be your friend. And by and large it is. By April 2015, the Conservative-led coalition administration will have cut corporate tax by a not insubstantial eight percent since it came to power in 2010. This, in combination with other pro-business tax reforms, including to the foreign profits regime, has turned heads in various parts of the world, most notably in the United States, from where companies have been attempting to make a beeline for the UK, much to the chagrin of President Obama and Congress. And these are policies that appear to have succeeded: economic growth of three percent is predicted this year, which, to the euro-skeptics’ delight, must be rubbing salt into the wounds of the eurozone, showing it up as the failure it was always … Read More »


Irish Eyes Are Blinking

Posted on October 19th, by Global Tax Weekly in Banking, Corporation Tax, Individual Taxation, OECD, Offshore, Tax Avoidance. No Comments

So, in the great stand-off between Ireland and the OECD, Dublin has been the one to blink first, with the Irish Government having announced in the 2015 Budget new corporate residency rules that will put paid to the infamous “Double Irish” international tax planning technique so beloved of American technology and pharmaceutical firms. This is not really surprising, given the amount of pressure Ireland has been under from the international community with regard to its corporate tax regime. What was more unexpected was the speed with which Ireland has acted, especially since it has fought tooth and nail against the likes of the EU and the OECD for years to ensure that Irish tax laws are decided in Ireland. But ultimately, perhaps the Double Irish just wasn’t worth the hassle anymore. Physical investment on the other hand, is. Ireland is … Read More »


Bread-Basket To Basket-Case

Posted on July 27th, by Global Tax Weekly in Individual Taxation, Tax Avoidance, Trade. No Comments

It used to be known as the bread basket of the Soviet Union. Now Ukraine is more like the economic basket case of Europe. What’s happening in the east of Ukraine right now is truly tragic. But leaving aside that ethnic conflict, the other tragedy is that things ought to have turned out so much better. When Ukraine gained independence from the Soviet Union, it was generating one-quarter of the USSR’s agricultural output while its diversified industrial sector was one of the bloc’s main workshops. But instead of building on this base, successive governments seem to have squandered Ukraine’s economic potential to the point where it has probably gone backwards rather than forwards. A huge problem is that corruption is rife and pervades the public and private sector at all levels. Surviving as a business very much depends on who … Read More »


Derelict Directive

Posted on July 6th, by Global Tax Weekly in Banking, Individual Taxation, International Taxation, Offshore, Tax Avoidance. No Comments

Switzerland is probably fairly happy that international attention this week was being devoted to a French bank, for a change, and newly-announced figures for the money the country generated from applying the EU’s Savings Tax Directive may also have created a small frisson of satisfaction among the country’s financial leaders. For others, who don’t understand why, at first blush USD570m doesn’t seem to be a derisory amount of money to have extracted through a tax of 30 percent on interest payments, even if it was down 20 percent on last year, but hold hard: while there are no robust figures for total Swiss assets under management, a semi-official figure published last year suggests that they amount to about USD6 trillion, representing more than a quarter of global AUM. USD570m is 30 percent of USD1.9bn, which is an astronomically small proportion … Read More »


Winter Dreams

Posted on December 12th, by Global Tax Weekly in Banking, Budgets, Individual Taxation, International Taxation, Tax Avoidance. No Comments

The Tory toffs who are running the British Government seem to be doing a reasonable job, despite the LibDem barnacles encrusting their hull and slowing progress. The Chancellor’s Autumn Statement last week had some disappointing aspects, but by and large it does the right things, particularly by helping small businesses in various ways. I don’t know quite what to make of the grandiose package of tax avoidance measures: surely it is mostly grandstanding? Having committed themselves so thoroughly at the Lough Earne G20 summit to abolishing BEPS, they probably had no choice but to make a big song and dance about it. But most thoughtful commentators have by now concluded that the whole BEPS circus will change very little in the real world. So there is no point in criticizing the Brits for continuing to push the bandwaggon along. Even … Read More »





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