Taxation

Cross-border inheritance tax problems within the European Union

By Henry Charles, Citroen Wells Chartered Accountants

The European Commission is consulting in order to collect information on the progress made in European Union (EU) countries in tackling cross-border inheritance tax (IHT) problems. What is the problem? In the EU some people can effectively pay IHT twice or more in different countries. Why is that? EU countries have to respect EU treaties and in particular are not allowed to discriminate against EU citizens when imposing IHT. However, they are not obliged to harmonise or coordinate their policies on IHT and two or more countries can impose their taxes in parallel.

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Taxation

After FATCA comes GATCA

By Rodolfo Sánchez-Arellano, New Corporate Approach, S.C.

In February of this year, the OECD released the Standard for Automatic Exchange of Financial Account Information, which is starting to be known as GATCA as its goals are similar to the FATCA legislation which was recently implemented in the USA. The OECD recently announced that 47 countries declared an automatic exchange of information between their jurisdictions on 6 May 2014.

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Taxation

The challenging and changing world of property taxes in the USA

By Scott D. Davis, Prager Metis CPAs, LLC

Over the last decade, the amount of funds made available by the Federal Government and distributed to the State Government has continued to dwindle. As these Federal funds dried up further, less money has been made available to the individual states and therefore less to local towns and cities. This ongoing trend has been forcing towns and cities to come up with alternative ways to obtain the funds that the state used to provide which are required to pay for the local public services. As costs at local level rise further and the deficit of these state  funds increases, locally assessed property taxes have been and continue to be used as the major way to fund these revenue deficits in local budgets each year.

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Taxation

Tax Structuring Opportunities Through Canada and Luxembourg

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By Robert Worthington, Shea Nerland Calnan LLP

A recent ruling from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has approved a financing structure that creates substantial tax benefits. The tax plan utilizes a hybrid instrument issued by a Luxembourg entity. It also relies on Canada's tax system which may allow for repatriation of income of foreign affliates on a tax-free basis. This planning may benefit not only Canadian companies, but also non-Canadian companies that structure through Canada and Luxembourg.

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Taxation

UK Tax residence – things have changed if you are planning to come to the UK

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Liability to UK income tax and capital gains tax is dependent on the residence status of the individual. The term 'residence' appears many times in UK tax legislation but until now this has never been properly defined in that legislation. Instead, for almost 200 years the courts have been establishing a range of factors which can affect the determination of an individual's residence status. How long an individual spends in the UK in a tax year is important to this decision as well as the principle of whether they are coming to the UK temporarily.

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Taxation

The tax burden on labor should be lifted

Set against the background of the deepening economic crisis within the member states of the EU, the European Commission is analyzing the development of poverty, unemployment and exclusion analyzed. Here the EU has shown a clear dichotomy: The highest values in terms of poverty and unemployment risk in the southern and eastern states, set against the relatively successful crisis management in the north, in particular in Germany, France and Poland.

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Taxation

New start for a standard passenger vehicle taxation in the EU

13 million new vehicles are registered in the European Union every year. Nevertheless the registration tax and the vehicle tax are not harmonized within the EU. The EU commission recognizes the danger that there could be a double vehicle taxation of citizens and companies due to lack of harmonization. In order to prevent this, the commission presented regulations for passenger vehicle taxation in a notification on December 14, 2012 and recommended proceedings for implementation to the member countries.

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Taxation

Where are we going in the current climate?

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By Prof. Robert Anthony, Anthony & Cie

European Property in the residential sector sales seems to have slowed down substantially. Whilst London and Paris as well as other capitals still seem to be selling, it is much harder to obtain finance. This results in a diminution of volume. Certain prime assets remain in demand and the purchasers obviously are better protected due to their liquidity.

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Taxation

UK Residency and domicile – New rules with a positive outcome

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By Sonal Shah, Lawrence Grant

The current rules on residency have been based on cases decided over a hundred years ago. The rules have never been easy to apply, they lack certainty and this has hindered international mobility. The UK government recognised that in order to safeguard the UK's attractiveness as a destination for individuals and businesses, the current rules of residency were unsustainable. We have good news!

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Taxation

US Fight against Tax Evasion Creates Significant Problems for Companies

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Despite an excellent credit rating and flawless company reputation, the bank is not advancing funds. The reason: the bank is not prepared to comply with FATCA rules. "We are already seeing problems like this today when Swiss banks are involved. They are expected to increase with other financial institutions in the near future as well," warns Oliver Biernat, auditor and specialised consultant for international tax law at the Benefitax accounting firm in Frankfurt. "FATCA applies whenever US citizens or German companies in which US citizens hold shares want to open an account with or apply for a loan from a German bank."

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