International News

  • Guernsey Signs UK MoU To Ensure Funds Access After Brexit 20th March 2019

    Guernsey’s financial services regulator has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority to ensure market access for Guernsey investment funds into the UK after Brexit.

    Guernsey has a market access agreement with the 28 member states of the European Union under the EU’s Alternative Investment Fund Managers’ Directive. The agreement was made and signed with the European securities regulator, the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA).

    Once the UK leaves the European Union at the end of this month, it will cease to be a signatory to the agreement, and so the separate MoU has been agreed between the UK and the island. It will come into effect if EU law no longer applies in the UK, either through a no-deal Brexit or at the end of any transitional arrangements once the UK leaves the EU, and will mean that Guernsey funds will still be able to be marketed into the UK.

    “We welcome the continued cooperation with UK regulatory authorities and this timely MoU signing, which ensures the continuity, stability and certainty of access when marketing Guernsey funds,” said Dominic Wheatley, Chief Executive of Guernsey Finance.

    Guernsey uses National Private Placement Regimes to access European investors. Guernsey funds can be registered for sale in more than 50 jurisdictions worldwide, including the USA, European Union, and China, which together represent more than 80 percent of the world economy.

  • Maldives Introduces Electronic Tax Payment Obligation For Largest Firms 20th March 2019

    From April 1, 2019, taxpayers with an annual turnover of MVR50m (USD3.25m) or more will be required to make payments to the Maldives Inland Revenue Authority via the MIRAconnect online tax administration portal.

    Electronic payment will be required for goods and services tax, withholding tax, and business profit tax. Affected taxpayers are to be contacted by the tax agency. Taxpayers struggling to comply with the requirement to pay electronically through the portal may request a decision from the Commissioner General to exceptionally make payment using another method.

    The obligation to pay electronically via MIRAconnect was announced in Tax Ruling 2019/A18, published February 18, 2019.

  • EU Expands Tax Blacklist, Penalizing Non-Reformers 14th March 2019

    The EU has tripled its list of non-cooperative tax jurisdictions to include 15 countries.

    The European Council has announced the expansion of the list to include: Aruba, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, Dominica, Fiji, the Marshall Islands, Oman, the United Arab Emirates, and Vanuatu. The Council said that these jurisdictions did not implement the commitments they had made to the EU regarding their tax regimes by the agreed deadline.

    The original list, announced in December 2017, contained 17 jurisdictions. Since then, the EU has moved several jurisdictions to its “grey list” of countries that are cooperating with the EU to reform their tax policies. The last revision, in November 2018, left just five countries on the list: American Samoa, Guam, Samoa, Trinidad and Tobago, and the US Virgin Islands. The EU said that no commitments have been made by these five countries since the blacklist was first adopted.

    Barbados, the Marshall Islands, and the United Arab Emirates were also on the 2017 list but were moved to the grey list after they made commitments to improve their tax systems. The EU said that these commitments have not been followed, with the result that the jurisdictions have been returned to the black list.

    Aruba, Belize, Bermuda, Dominica, Fiji, Oman, and Vanuatu were not on the original list. However, they have been moved from the grey to the black list for the same reason.

    34 territories remain on the grey list.

    Eugen Toedorovici, the minister of finance of Romania, which currently holds the Council presidency, said: “Since it was first adopted in late 2017, the list has proven its worth in promoting forward in a cooperative manner the EU’s agenda of improving global tax practices, fighting tax avoidance, and improving good governance and transparency: more than 30 jurisdictions have already delivered on their commitment to pass reforms.”