International News

  • Bermuda, Cayman Welcome Recognition From EU In Blacklist 7th December 2017
    Both Bermuda and the Cayman Islands have welcomed EU member states’ decision to not include them on a “black list” of non-cooperative territories for tax purposes. Many offshore territories had been concerned in the run-up to the release of the list that it would arbitrarily feature many offshore territories simply on the basis that they facilitate disproportionately great capital flows for their relative size, in large part due to their benign tax regimes and streamlined regulatory frameworks, despite many of them being more quick and thorough in adopting international tax standards than many advanced country territories. In fact, the black list featured many advanced nation states that feature higher rates of tax and some that have been slower to adopt tax transparency best standards. The 17 countries that feature in the “black list” agreed by EU finance ministers on December 5, 2017, are: American Samoa, Bahrain, Barbados, Grenada, Guam, Macao, the Marshall Islands, Mongolia, Namibia, Palau, Panama, Saint Lucia, Samoa, South Korea, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, and the United Arab Emirates. A further 47 countries have committed to address deficiencies in their tax systems and to meet the required criteria, following contacts with the EU. Bermuda said that the list agreed by the EU’s Economic and Financial Affairs Council on December 5 had reaffirmed Bermuda’s status as a cooperative tax jurisdiction. David Burt, Premier of Bermuda, said: “Once again the EU has recognized Bermuda’s status as a cooperative jurisdiction, despite the interest surrounding a hack on a global law firm and related documents in the public domain. The outcome of the Council’s decision demonstrates Bermuda’s position as a global leader in international tax transparency.” “Bermuda is not a place to hide money, given its Common Reporting Standard and Country by Country automatic reporting regimes and membership in the OECD Inclusive Framework on Base Erosion and Profit Shifting. Any legitimate tax authority can request and receive information from Bermuda, under 100-plus tax-transparency relationships pursuant to the OECD multilateral tax treaty, and more than 40 bilateral Tax Information Exchange Agreements.” “Bermuda welcomes continued dialogue with the EU Code of Conduct Group and EU member states.” Meanwhile, Jude Scott, the CEO of Cayman Finance, the territory’s financial services promotional agency, said: “Cayman Islands has not been included on the EU’s list of non-cooperativ …
  • UAE Finalizes Adoption Of New VAT Framework 1st December 2017
    The Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates has officially approved Regulations that set out rules for the value-added tax framework the country will adopt, alongside Saudi Arabia, from January 1, 2018. The Executive Regulation for the Federal Decree-Law No. (8) of 2017 on Value Added Tax was unveiled at a Cabinet meeting on November 7. According to the Ministry of Finance, among other things, the Regulation defines terms used; discusses how to categorize supplies and a taxable event; and discusses mixed supplies and deemed supplies. The Regulations set out administrative rules, such as the requirement to register and voluntary registration; the treatment of supplies between related parties; conditions to be met to register a tax group and appointing a representative member; deregistration; exceptions from the requirement to register; transitional registration rules; and the rules surrounding reregistration. The Regulation also looks at how to determine when a supply takes place, the place where a supply is deemed to have occurred; the place of supply of services connected with immovable property; and the treatment of transport services, telecommunications services, and electronic services, and intra-GCC supplies; rules concerning valuation of supplies; and pricing rules, including rules concerning discounts, subsidies, and vouchers. It also discusses reverse charges; reporting and documentation rules; and the treatment of cross-border supplies. The Regulations are available on the Ministry of Finance’s website and the tax agency’s website. Businesses are required to register to collect and remit value-added tax if at any time during the past twelve months the value of their taxable supplies exceeded the mandatory registration threshold of AED375,000 (USD102,000), or if the entity anticipates that they will exceed the threshold within the next 30 days. Taxpayers can register voluntarily if the total value of their taxable supplies exceeded AED187,500, or if the business expects to exceed that threshold within the next 30 days. Younis Al Khouri, Undersecretary at the Ministry of Finance, said: “Now that Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum has signed off on the Executive Regulations of Federal Law No. (8) of 2017 on Value Added Tax, we are on the cusp of a new stage in the implementation of an effective tax system in the UAE – one that meets international standards and upgrades services, strategic sectors, and overall quality of life in the emirates.” “Over th …
  • Abu Dhabi Global Market Sees Threefold Increase In Firms 17th November 2017

    Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), the low-tax international financial center has reported a threefold increase in the number of registered firms over the previous year.

    In only its second year of operation, some 550 companies and financial institutions have now made ADGM their home. They come from a broad range of industries and sectors, including well-established local family businesses, international financial institutions, funds, and professional and corporate service providers.

    ADGM reported that it has seen strong interest in its new special purpose vehicle regime, with 200 companies incorporated in the first 12 months of the regime, as well as a positive response to its new foundations regime from the wealth preservation and wealth management community.

    ADGM attributes the rapid growth in companies registering to factors such as ease of doing business in ADGM, consistently high levels of efficiency, a unique and comprehensive range of corporate and investment vehicles, and the full application of English common law. The increase in new companies compares favorably with other regional free trade zones, such as the Dubai International Financial Centre, an older zone, which is home to around 1,750 firms.

    ADGM is an international financial center, which offers a range of attractive benefits to firms, including exemption from taxes guaranteed for 50 years, and relaxed rules on the repatriation of profits. ADGM permits 100 percent foreign ownership.