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The doom and gloom-mongers in the British media, as well as some politicians, are claiming that yesterday’s decision by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) rejecting the British government’s challenge to the operation of the Financial Transaction Tax (FTT) spells disaster for the City of London. But in the immortal words of Corporal Jones in the […]

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The Isle of Man has been awarded the top ‘Compliant’ rating by the global body reviewing tax transparency around the world. The OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes has just published ratings for the 50 countries reviewed to date and the Isle of […]

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According to many a tax haven is a jurisdiction (a state, country or territory) where one or more type of tax is levied at a low rate or not at all. Others have suggested that any country which modifies its tax laws to attract foreign capital could be considered a tax haven. On that basis […]

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According to Chief Minister Allan Bell, the Isle of Man is beginning to get its message across to senior politicians, decision makers and opinion formers in the UK, EU and further afield that it is part of the solution not part of the problem of tax evasion. Mr Bell and Treasury Minister Eddie Teare attended […]

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The Court of Appeal has now confirmed the decision of the Upper Tier Tribunal in Anson –v- HMRC, a case dealing with the issue of whether a Delaware Limited Liability Company was tax transparent or not. Mr Anson was a member of a Delaware LLC which carried on business in the US. Since a Delaware […]

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The Isle of Man government has signed a tax information sharing agreement with the UK government to help combat tax evasion. Under the agreement, the Isle of Man and UK will automatically exchange a wide range of information on tax residents, on a reciprocal basis. It should be emphasised that evasion isn’t avoidance and there […]

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In a report published yesterday, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation & Development (OECD) calls for an overhaul of international tax laws, including controversial transfer pricing rules, in an effort to stamp out corporate tax avoidance. The report addressed concerns from many quarters that global companies have opportunities to “profit shift” from high to low tax […]

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At its simplest, tax planning is just a case of arranging your financial affairs in such a way as to pay as little tax as possible within the law and so not much different from “tax avoidance”. Politicians and the media are struggling to agree exactly what “tax avoidance” is and are starting to use […]

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The courts of most countries have long accepted that taxpayers have the right to arrange their financial affairs in such as manner as to use tax legislation to reduce the amount of tax that is payable by means that are within the law. For centuries the mantra “evasion is illegal but avoidance is not” has been […]

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Tax evasion is the illegal evasion of any type of tax or duty (so it includes smuggling) by individuals, companies, trusts or other corporate entities. Typically evasion occurs when taxpayers deliberately misrepresent the true state of their affairs to the tax authorities to reduce their tax liability and includes dishonest tax reporting, such as declaring less income, profits […]

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As of 1st December 2012 any business which is not established or located in the UK and which sells goods or services to UK customers will have to register and account for UK VAT, regardless of the value of those sales. Previously such businesses were only required to register when the value of the goods […]

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Following on from the success of the recent Liechtenstein Disclosure Facility, which has already resulted in HM Revenue & Customs recovering £363 million in unpaid tax and which is expected to bring in at least ten times that sum over the next five years, the two countries signed a full double taxation agreement (“DTA”) yesterday. […]

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Having agreed to a tax deal with the UK recently, Liechtenstein is now co-operatingwith the US Treasury – mainly to avoid legal action against local banks – by agreeing to a so-called “group request” identifying their US clients. Liechtenstein’s traditional secrecy started to unwind after data stolen from LGT (the bank owned by Liechtenstein’s royal family) […]

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Swiss Finance Minister, Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf, claims that the US government is keen to end the long running dispute over wealthy Americans with undeclared Swiss bank accounts before the upcoming US presidential election. Currently eleven Swiss banks are under investigation by the United States accused of aiding US citizens evade their taxes. But the Swiss want the investigations to be […]

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The US Treasury has announced that as part of the crack down on American tax evasion it intends to have signed agreements with five European Union (“EU”) countries by the end of June 2012. The agreements will implement the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (“FATCA”) and the spokesman also said that the Treasury hoped to announce agreements […]

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It comes as no surprise that the UK Government has accepted the recommendation of Graham Aaronson QC that a General Anti-abuse Rule (GAAR) should be introduced into the UK tax system to tackle what it sees as misinterpretation of legislation. The aim of the GAAR is to allow tax avoidance to be tackled without making […]

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In an ill-informed attack Ed Miliband, leader of the Labour opposition, has called for the EU to take action against the British Crown Dependencies (Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man) which he claims are “tax havens” which are ill regulated and where tax avoidance and tax evasion goes on to the detriment of the […]

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The European Commission recently proposed an EU-wide financial transaction tax (FTT) on a range of transactions to which a financial institution is a party. In simple terms every time a bank, stockbroker, insurance company, pension fund, financial leasing company, special purpose vehicle, collective investment scheme or holding company buys or sells stocks, shares, bonds or […]

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One of the reasons that you won’t often find me commenting on US tax issues is that the US government have a lot of very nasty laws that they are prepared to use on anyone they think might be encouraging their citizens to evade or even just avoid tax – even though tax avoidance is […]

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Just over a year ago I wrote about the visit to the Isle of Man undertaken by Vince Cable, then Liberal Democrat Shadow Chancellor who today was appointed Secretary of State for Business and Banking in the new Conservative – Liberal cabinet. Despite having been a stern critic of the island, calling it a tax […]

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