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TAX UPDATES NEWSLETTER 
 

EU Council agrees to extend automatic exchange of tax information

Directive 2011/16/EU on administrative cooperation in the field of direct taxation amended 

14 October 2014 the Economic and Financial Affairs Council agreed on a draft directive extending the scope for the mandatory automatic exchange of information between tax administrations, enabling them to better combat tax evasion and to improve the efficiency of tax collection.

The proposal brings interest, dividends and other income, as well as account balances and sales proceeds from financial assets, within the scope of the automatic exchange of information. It thus amends directive 2011/16/EU on administrative cooperation in the field of direct taxation.

The new directive will be adopted at a forthcoming Council meeting without further discussion, once it has been finalised in all official languages. Based on article 115 of the Treaty on the

Functioning of the EU, it needs unanimity for adoption by the Council, after consulting the European Parliament.

ec.europa.eu


Monaco deepens commitment to fight offshore tax avoidance and evasion

OECD confirmed, that Monaco has taken many positive steps towards improving transparency in recent years 

 13 October 2014 the Principality of Monaco committed to strengthen international tax cooperation after it became the 84th jurisdiction participating in the Multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters.


The Multilateral Convention provides for all forms of mutual assistance: exchange on request, spontaneous exchange, tax examinations abroad, simultaneous tax examinations and assistance in tax collection, while protecting taxpayers' rights. It provides the option to undertake automatic exchange, while requiring an agreement between the Parties interested in this form of assistance


 www.oecd.org

Switzerland and EU member states sign understanding on business taxation

Swiss corporate tax reform to be based on the OECD international standards

14.10.2014 in Luxembourg, Federal Councillor Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf and representatives of the 28 EU member states signed a mutual understanding in the form of a joint statement on business taxation, thereby putting an end to a controversy which has put a strain on relations between Switzerland and the EU for almost ten years.


 The Federal Council reaffirmed its intention to propose abolishing certain tax regimes within the framework of the third series of corporate tax reforms, particularly those that provide for different treatment of domestic and foreign revenue ("ring-fencing"). New tax measures should be based on the OECD international standards. In return, the EU member states confirmed that they will lift any countermeasures taken against these regimes as soon as the regimes in question have been abolished.

www.admin.ch


Colombia declares Panama a tax haven, seeking to recoup lost revenue  

Barbados, Kuwait, Qatarand UAE were also included on the 41-country list 

8 October 2014 Colombia declared Panama a tax haven for individuals and businesses as the government looks to curb tax evasion and seeks to pressure the Central American country to sign a financial information-sharing agreement.


 The move could push Colombian investors and businesses to pull out of Panama, since assets stored in declared havens are taxed at three times the rate of foreign assets in countries that share data with Colombia.


 Under the declaration, Colombian assets in Panama will be taxed at a rate of 33 percent, instead of the previous 10 percent rate, the country's tax authority said. If Panama signs the accord, Colombians will go back to paying the 10 percent.


 The decision may motivate Panama to sign an accord rather than risk losing investments.


 Colombian investments in Panama more than quadrupled last year to USD3.2 billion, and represented 41.8 percent of total foreign investments by Colombians in 2013, according to central bank figures.


 Along with Barbados, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Qatar were also included on the 41-country list, though they were not on it last year, as the Colombian government sought their signatures on information-sharing accords before the October 7 deadline.


 www.dailymail.co.uk

 

European Commission published report on tax reforms

The document points to opportunities to improve national tax systems 

13 October 2014 European Commission published the report: "Tax reforms in EU Member States 2014 - Tax policy challenges for economic growth and fiscal sustainability". It provides an annual review of the most important tax reforms implemented by EU Member States and identifies the main tax policy challenges they are facing.

The reportexplores ways to make tax structures more growth-friendly. The tax burden on labour in the EU is relatively high. Reducing this burden, for example by shifting to other revenue bases less detrimental to growth, can have positive consequences on growth and employment.

The report also takes an in-depth look at the size of tax bases, analysing housing taxation, incentives for debt financing in corporate taxation, tax expenditures in direct taxation and the VAT base.

Moreover, the report examines three specific items: environmental taxes, tax compliance and tax administration, and the effect of tax systems on recent developments in income equality.
ec.europa.eu