OECD


Is There Such A Thing As Banking Secrecy Anymore?

Posted on March 9th, by Global Tax Weekly in OECD, Tax Avoidance. No Comments

It’s certainly debatable. In Switzerland, still the epicenter of the private banking world, confidentiality laws remain on the statute books. But this fundamental pillar of the Swiss legal system is undoubtedly being weakened as Berne acquiesces to the transparency demands of foreign nations and plurilateral organizations, the latest of which was the joint declaration by Switzerland and Australia on the implementation of automatic information exchange in tax matters. Not that Switzerland can really be condemned for giving ground. It has been surrounded by the massed ranks of the world’s tax inspectors for a number of years, and generally it hasn’t given in without putting up a good fight. These days the phrase “banking secrecy” is used in a pejorative way, alongside other uncomplimentary descriptors of wealth management and offshore finance, like “tax haven,”, and many people would probably denounce me … 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 »


Plurilateral Pests

Posted on May 21st, by Global Tax Weekly in IMF, OECD. No Comments

It would be a brave girl who asserted that she understood the economic situation of Egypt, except to say that it is dire; but it seems a reasonable proposition that the IMF (from which the government is hoping to borrow USD15bn or some such number) was behind this week’s five percent increase in the top rate of tax. Individual well-off Egyptians are round about 99 times cleverer than any government they have had in the past 50 years or are ever likely to have, so this has to be regarded as a piece of window-dressing. But other IMF prescriptions this week also follow the usual tax-increasing path: in Luxembourg it’s VAT and property taxes; in Lithuania it’s property taxes and vehicles; in Latvia it’s the flat tax thresholds. And here is a particularly abysmal example of first world high-taxing double-speak … Read More »


BEPS Biffed

Posted on April 6th, by Global Tax Weekly in Corporation Tax, OECD. No Comments

How good to see someone challenging the current OECD-inspired tax gospel with a comprehensive dissing of the BEPS heresy. The tax boss of the UK’s ACCA must have swallowed hard before accepting the report they had commissioned, but he has bitten the bullet. I’m not going to drown you in statistics, just one will do: Germany’s revenue from corporate income tax was 15 percent higher in 2013 than in 2012. Now how are you (well, I don’t mean you, I mean “they”) going to square that figure with the prevailing consensus, at least among politicians and tax collectors, that MNEs are getting away with blue murder? It’s just a bundle of politically-inspired, or maybe I mean debt-inspired balderdash. Everyone needs to remember at all times that, whatever usefulness it may have had in the past, the OECD is nowadays simply … Read More »


Malta In The Crosshairs

Posted on March 9th, by Global Tax Weekly in Banking, Budgets, Corporation Tax, E-commerce, Individual Taxation, OECD, Offshore. No Comments

As usual during this period of fiscal stress for countries across the world, we look in vain for any cuts in taxes. But at least in Malta they are trying to improve matters for businesses through simplification of the tax system and throttling back the impositions of government. As I say that, I can already hear the offended wailings of the anti-brigade: oh, but Malta is offshore, it is a tax haven, it steals revenue from big “respectable” countries like Germany by helping banks and gaming companies with low tax rates, so that they can’t get the revenue to help their poor, huddled masses to survive the rigors of the nuclear winter we are all trying to survive. Let’s be clear: the “nuclear winter” is a direct result of the debts taken on by those countries’ politicians in pursuit of … Read More »


Cowboys And Farmers

Posted on February 20th, by Global Tax Weekly in International Taxation, OECD. No Comments

“The farmers and the cowboys should be friends,” they sang in Oklahoma, even though they weren’t, and they often ended up killing each other. I guess the farmers won, in the end, and nowadays most of them have turned into companies, while the remaining cowboys are Federal marshals who make sure that the farmers hang onto their property. Nowadays we could sing: “The bosses and the governors should be friends,” although it doesn’t have quite the same resonance, and they face each other down across a court-room floor rather than a corral, and with lawyers instead of guns, but you get the picture. So this week the OECD, which for the avoidance of doubt needs to be understood as a tool of government and no friend of business, has brought out its latest fusillade of anti-business rhetoric in the shape … Read More »





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