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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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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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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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Is offshore banking legal? This is a question often asked these days, as various nations seek to clamp down on offshore tax havens and offshore banking. And while such banking may raise eyebrows in certain quarters, or invite disapproving comments from politicians seeking to balance budgets and maximise tax revenue, the fact is banking offshore […]

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I think it’s imperative that people get off their butts and travel. I say this because I believe the old dictum that travel broadens the mind. And what this world needs more than anything else right now is “mind broadening”. Travelling to a country gives you a chance to experience life as others live it, […]

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On his 2008 Presidential campaign trail, Barack Obama made his hostility toward “offshore” jurisdictions very clear: “There’s a building in the Cayman Islands that houses supposedly 12,000 U.S.-based corporations. That’s either the biggest building in the world or the biggest tax scam in the world, and we know which one it is.” I know that […]

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For many years UK taxpayers benefitted greatly by transferring (settling) their assets in offshore trusts, but increasing ant-avoidance legislation has led people to believe that there is no point in using an offshore trust any more. Whilst it is true that the tax advantages are no longer as good and they once were the fact […]

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As promised by Gordon Brown at the end of the G20 summit today, the OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development) has provided a detailed report on progress by financial centres around the world towards implementation of an internationally agreed standard on exchange of information for tax purposes. The list is split into four sections […]

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Anyone setting up a business in Germany has a few problems to overcome. High taxation, high social charges, and high cost of company formation to name just three. That’s why more and more Germans are setting up companies in the United Kingdom. Believe it or not, the UK remains very business friendly. Anyone can set […]

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The British Treasury has set up an independent review to examine the operations of offshore financial centres and their effect on the UK economy. The review will look at the current and future risks posed by the current economic crisis to the financial business of British Crown Dependencies and Overseas Territories including Jersey, Guernsey, the […]

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Ken Henry, Australia’s Treasury Secretary today unveiled the first in a series of long awaited consultation papers which are aimed at simplifying the country’s overcomplicated tax system in a bid to attract greater investment into the country. Currently Australians are subject to 125 different taxes, but the vast majority of government revenue (about 90%) is […]

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An offshore bank account can be described as: “a bank account maintained by an individual or business in a bank in any country of which they are not normally a resident”. Basically what this long phrase means is that if you are a British resident and you open a bank account in somewhere like Spain […]

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“Going Offshore” is a phrase that one commonly hears usually accompanied by a wry smile or a sly wink of the eye. There is an assumption that somehow “Offshore” is “dodgy” and anyone who has an offshore bank account or business must automatically be up to no good. Phrases like “tax avoidance”, “tax evasion” and, […]

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Following this year’s Caribbean Investment Forum meeting in Port of Spain (Trinidad & Tobago) on the 11th and 12th June, several countries have announced that they too want to turn themselves into tax havens. So why the sudden rush? Well the countries involved: Trinidad & Tobago, Jamaica and the Dominican Republic don’t exactly have what […]

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