by Camilla Hodgson (Business Insider)Assets held offshore in the British Virgin Islands (BVI) are worth $1.5 trillion (£1.19 trillion), double the International Monetary Fund's 2010 estimate. That's according to a new report by Capital Economics, seen by the Financial Times.
by Teri Sprackland (Tax Notes)The lack of agreement on an e-book VAT proposal was both a surprise and a disappointment, Edward Scicluna, president of the Economic and Financial Affairs Council, told members of the European Parliament (MEPs) during a June 19 meeting of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs.
by Iain Marlow and Enda Curran (Bloomberg)Seized vehicles. Bribes. Days-long delays. Moving goods across Indian states isn’t exactly easy -- and that’s a major barrier to economic growth.
Rolling a truck of vegetables into Gujarat, the state once governed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, requires a bribe of 500 rupees to 2,000 rupees even with your papers in order, according to Rakesh Kaul, vice-president of Caravan Roadways Ltd., which has about 400 trucks plying India’s pot-holed roads.
by Andreas Rinke and Michelle Martin (Reuters)German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Monday that Britain might end up following the example of other islands in the European Union with low tax rates when it quits the bloc.
Merkel, who said it was already hard to organize fair tax competition in Europe, also announced plans for a Franco-German corporation tax reform.
by Juliette Garside (The Guardian)Banks, accountants and law firms that facilitate offshore tax schemes face a Europe-wide crackdown, according to a leak of draft legislation.
Brussels will publish proposals this Wednesday to force financial intermediaries to automatically disclose any new cross-border tax schemes offered to clients. Those designing and promoting aggressive avoidance structures will have five working days to file details with their local tax authority, according to a leaked version of the proposals, drawn up by the European commission.
by Elodie Lamer (Tax Notes)European finance ministers failed to reach an agreement on two important VAT files that the Maltese presidency of the Council of the EU had hoped to close on June 16. As was expected, the Czechs blocked an agreement on reduced VAT rates on e-books because they didn’t get what they wanted on a proposal that would allow them to apply a general reverse charge mechanism.
by Mohamed Samir (Daily News Egypt)Egypt joined the first multilateral international convention to prevent tax evasion on a global level. The convention aims at reducing the erosion of the tax base by tackling international tax evasion, to ensure that each state receives its fair share of the taxes resulting from the transactions and economic activities across borders, said Amr Al-Monayer, the deputy minister of finance for tax policies, in a press statement on Saturday.
by Sani Tukur (Premium Times)Nigeria has ratified multilateral conventions on tax related treaties to end profit shifting and tax evasion by multinational companies.
The ratification of the treaties Wednesday followed the approval of a memo submitted by the Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, who said this was part of government’s plan to widen its tax base and improve revenue generation.
by Gavin Ekins (Tax Foundation)Last Wednesday representatives from 76 countries and jurisdictions came together in Paris to sign the Multilateral Instrument (MLI) treaty. This OECD initiative is a relatively unknown part of the BEPS project but is a key component for implementing the remainder of the BEPS recommendations. The MLI streamlines the process of creating tax treaties among multiple countries, a process which could last a decade, by setting default rules which apply to all treaties unless explicitly over-written. Additionally, the MLI introduces binding arbitration when tax disputes arise among signatory countries. The United States and Estonia were the only members of the OECD that did not sign the MLI treaty, but many of the signatory countries have chosen to abstain from many of the treaty’s provisions. As such, it remains uncertain whether the MLI will achieve the goals of the BEPS project.
by Cécile Barbière (Euractiv)After a vote on Monday (12 June) by the European Parliament’s ECON and JURI committees, European multinationals will be obliged publish details of their activities in every country where they operate. But a number of loopholes weaken the tax transparency drive.