International News

  • Jersey, Guernsey, Isle of Man To Make Company Info Public 20th June 2019

    The governments of Jersey, Guernsey, and the Isle of Man have jointly announced a series of steps to improve the accessibility and transparency of their respective registers of beneficial ownership information.

    The governments said that the changes will be introduced as part of a three-stage process and are consistent with the EU’s approach to the transparency of beneficial ownership data of companies under the Fifth Money Laundering Directive.

    First, the three governments will ensure the interconnection of their registers with those within the EU. This will enable law enforcement authorities and Financial Intelligence Units to access the information.

    Second, access to the registers will be provided for financial service businesses and certain other prescribed businesses for corporate due diligence purposes. Finally, public access to the registers will be granted.

    Jersey’s External Relations Minister, Ian Gorst, said: “Jersey is proud to be among global leaders in matters of tax cooperation, transparency, and in combating money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism. The commitments we are announcing today … will help to ensure that this leadership role is maintained, while taking into account the standards being developed within Europe.”

    Gavin St Pier, Guernsey’s Chief Minister, said: “Guernsey has stated repeatedly that we would move to a public register of beneficial ownership as that becomes an international norm. We are publishing a detailed action plan to demonstrate how Guernsey will respond to global developments in regard to beneficial ownership over the next couple of years.”

    The Isle of Man’s Chief Minister, Howard Quayle, said: “The Isle of Man has a longstanding, and independently verified, track record of meeting international standards. EU member states’ implementation of public registers creates a clear direction of travel. It is in all our strategic interests ad our standing as responsible jurisdictions to commit to further developing the accessibility and transparency of our register of beneficial ownership for companies.”

  • EU Takes Action Against Spain Over Rules On Reporting Of Assets 10th June 2019

    The European Commission is taking Spain to the Court of Justice over the imposition of “disproportionate” sanctions for failure to report assets held abroad.

    Spain requires resident taxpayers to submit information on the assets they hold abroad, including properties, bank accounts, and financial assets. Those who fail to submit this information on time and in full are subject to sanctions.

    The Commission said that these sanctions are higher than those for similar infringements in a purely domestic situation and may exceed the value of assets held abroad. It described these sanctions as disproportionate and discriminatory.

    According to the Commission, these sanctions may deter businesses and private individuals from investing or moving across borders in the EU single market. It said that these provisions are in conflict with the free movement of persons and workers, the freedom of establishment, the freedom to provide services, and the free movement of capital.

    The Commission opened infringement proceedings against Spain in 2015 and in 2017 again requested that Spain amend the rules.

  • US Expats Must File By June 17 7th June 2019

    On June 5, 2019, the United States Internal Revenue Service reminded taxpayers living and working outside of the United States that they must file their 2018 federal income tax return by June 17, 2019.

    While the individual tax deadline for federal tax returns is set at April 15, taxpayers living and working outside of the US are granted an automatic two-month filing extension. This June 17 deadline applies to both US citizens and resident aliens abroad, including those with dual citizenship.

    An income tax filing requirement generally applies even if a taxpayer qualifies for tax benefits, such as the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion or the Foreign Tax Credit, which substantially reduces or eliminates US tax liability. However, these tax benefits are only available if an eligible taxpayer files a US income tax return.

    A taxpayer qualifies for the special June 17 filing deadline if both their tax home and abode are outside the United States and Puerto Rico. Those serving in the military outside the US and Puerto Rico on the regular due date of their tax return also qualify for the extension to June 17.

    However, the tax payment deadline remains set at April 15, and interest, currently at the rate of six percent per year, compounded daily, still applies to any tax payment received after the original deadline.

    Taxpayers abroad who can’t meet the June 17 deadline may apply for an automatic extension to October 15, 2019, although this does not extend the payment deadline.

    Any income received or deductible expenses paid in foreign currency must be reported on a US tax return in US dollars. Likewise, any tax payments must be made in US dollars.