Naturally, a great deal of the debate about the United Kingdom’s future in the European is focusing on how a Brexit would affect the UK economy, and, to a lesser extent, the economy of the European Union. However, it is not just the UK and the EU that are facing highly uncertain futures. There are various other territories dotted around northern and western Europe that anxiously await the result of Britain’s EU referendum on June 23, 2016, including the UK’s Crown Dependencies, Guernsey, Jersey, and the Isle of Man, and Gibraltar, which is classified for the purposes of international law as a British Overseas Territory.
Largely self-governing, none of these jurisdictions is fully “in” the EU, but they are inextricably tied to Europe through their strong constitutional links with the UK, which looks after their foreign affairs. Guernsey and Jersey, … Read More »
It’s funny how when finance ministers miss their fiscal targets, it’s always somebody else’s fault. According to Chancellor of the UK Exchequer George Osborne, global economic factors are to blame for his latest failure to bring down the UK’s public borrowing requirement. And of course, as Prime Minister Cameron’s front benchers are wont to point out on a regular basis, if the previous Labour Government hadn’t taken the course of action that it did, Britain wouldn’t be in the fiscal hole that the Tories are currently trying to dig it out of.
Anyway, as you’ve probably spotted, it was budget time in the UK last week. Or perhaps it passed you by. After all, they’re becoming about as commonplace as red buses in Oxford Street nowadays. After last December’s “Autumn Statement” (to all intents and purposes, a mid-year Budget announced … Read More »
The European Council, with the Netherlands at the presidency helm, last month released its BEPS Roadmap for the short and medium term. It lays out plans for further work on the Interest and Royalties Directive to include further restrictions on interest deductions, and on the Anti Avoidance Directive, with key focus on tightening controlled foreign company rules across the EU. This is perhaps an uncomfortable position for the Netherlands to be in; during much of the BEPS initiative, it remained largely silent on the proposals being put forward, choosing to wait for recommendations. And while it has made a few changes to its laws to reflect certain BEPS developments, in part in line with EU requirements, the Netherlands has not done so with the sheer gusto demonstrated by, say, the UK.
For more information on this, and other topical international tax … Read More »
It is possible to have sympathy for governments on occasion; there seem to be instances when they just can’t win. They’re constantly being told by the likes of the OECD and the IMF to eradicate special tax regimes, widen their tax bases, reduce income taxes where possible, and shift the tax burden onto consumption. Luxembourg is one country doing just that. Last year, the Government decided to phase out its patent box regime – exactly the sort of special tax regime the OECD sees as largely responsible for BEPS – and late last month it announced reductions in income tax for companies and low- and middle-income workers. These measures come after a 2 percent increase in the standard rate of value-added tax in 2015. Yet, according to the IMF, this is still wrong – the tax cuts are viewed as … Read More »