UAE Pushes For Ecuador DTA
1 April 2016
Representatives from the United Arab Emirates and Ecuador met on March 23, 2016, to discuss ways of strengthening the economic and trade ties between the two countries. During the meeting, Obaid Humaid Al Tayer, the UAE's Minister of State for Financial Affairs, highlighted the UAE's efforts to strengthen its relations with various countries around the world and to implement laws that support trade and investment and drive economic diversity. He said: "The UAE is continuing its efforts to offer key advantages for both public and private sectors, through committing to double taxation agreements, joint tax legislations, and agreements to prevent the evasion of income tax, which enhances eco...
Singapore Legislates For Automatic Tax Info Exchange
4 March 2016
Singapore's Ministry of Finance has released for public comments the draft Income Tax (Amendment No.2) Bill 2016, which would enable Singapore to automatically exchange tax-related information with other countries under the OECD's Common Reporting Standard (CRS). The draft Bill provides that existing provisions in the Income Tax Act governing automatic exchange of financial account information, which were introduced to implement the Singapore/US Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, would also extend to information exchanged under the Standard. This would enable Singapore to sign competent authority agreements (CAAs) with other jurisdictions to implement the Standard, the Ministry noted. On...
Hong Kong & Canada Sign Investment Agreement
17 February 2016
Hong Kong's Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Gregory So, and Canada's Minister of International Trade, Chrystia Freeland, signed an investment promotion and protection agreement (IPPA) on February 10 in Toronto. Under the IPPA, each government undertakes to provide investors of the other side with a fair, equitable and non-discriminatory treatment of investments, compensation for the expropriation of investments, and a right to free transfers abroad of investments and returns. The IPPA also provides for the settlement of investment disputes under internationally accepted rules, and will enter into force after the completion of each side's internal ratification procedures. ...
Sweden To Review Tax Law Surrounding Mergers
10 February 2016
The Swedish Government has announced an "urgent review" of tax regulations after learning that existing rules may lead to the double taxation of some companies that restructure. The Government said that double taxation may arise when, for example, a foreign subsidiary is merged with its Swedish parent company and the subsidiary operates from then on as a foreign branch of the Swedish company. "In certain cases, applying the regulations in such a situation can lead to double taxation of the activities that, following the merger, are taxable in Sweden," the Government said in a statement. "The double taxation arises because the value on which taxation in Sweden is based sometimes differs fr...
Georgian Firms Contributing To CIT Overhaul Plans
8 February 2016
On January 30, 2016, Georgia's Ministry of Finance met with business organizations to discuss its plans to reform the country's corporate income tax (CIT) regime. Earlier the Government had announced that it was seeking to introduce a corporate tax regime similar to Estonia's, with support from experts from that country. Estonia's tax regime features a broad base and a low, flat 20 percent rate. At the meeting, representatives from the government and businesses discussed the potential impact of the changes, focusing on technical and administrative issues. The meeting follows a commitment from Finance Minister Nodar Khaduri that the Government will engage with the private sector. He had pr...
Nigerian firm Taju Audu & Co joins TGS Global network
1 February 2016
Taju Audu & Co has joined the TGS Global network. The firm has three partners and is based in the capital city of Nigeria, Abuja. Taju Audu & Co (including its Consulting arm – AA&T Consulting Services) is a resource network of trained professionals who are committed to rendering excellent service to the public and serving the need of various clients. The firm offers a complete range of services to businesses, government agencies and individuals including audit, accounting, taxation, business advisory, financial and management consultancy. They additionally deliver specialist receivership and liquidation services, forensic accounting, ICT services and training. Commentin...
Tunisian firm CAP joins TGS Global network
28 January 2016
Based in Tunis, CAP - Chartered Accountants Partners provides a complete range of services including accountancy and taxation, audit and assurance, business consulting and payroll. Clients are active in a number of sectors including aeronautics, digital technologies, agriculture, finance, healthcare and logistics. Managing Partner, Moneim Taieb, says: “Despite recent shocks to the economy, Tunisia is open for business. We are able to assist inbound investors with our package of services and we are looking forward to working with other TGS Global members in Europe and further afield.” Richard Keyes, CEO of TGS Global, adds: “We welcome CAP to TGS Global. The network will ...
Invest HK Assists Record Number Of Foreign Companies
27 January 2016
Invest Hong Kong, the territory's inward investment agency, has announced that it assisted a record number of businesses to set up or expand in Hong Kong in 2015. InvestHK's Director-General of Investment Promotion, Simon Galpin, said: "2015 was another record year for InvestHK in terms of the number of companies assisted. Despite ongoing challenges in the global economy, Hong Kong continues to attract overseas and Mainland investors because of its enduring advantages and emerging business opportunities." The agency assisted 375 overseas and Mainland companies to set up or expand in Hong Kong in 2015. This number represents an all-time high and a year-on-year increase of 5.6 percent. The ...
IMF Pushes Carbon Taxes After Paris COP21 Conference
15 January 2016
Governments should prioritise the use of carbon pricing systems, including taxes, in their efforts to reduce carbon emissions, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said in a recent report. A new report from the IMF, After Paris: Fiscal, Macroeconomic, and Financial Implications of Climate Change, says carbon pricing systems are potentially the most effective carbon emission mitigation instruments, are straightforward to administer, raise revenues, and encourage technological changes towards low-emission investments. The Fund said that the case for carbon taxes over other instruments can be particularly strong in developing economies. These countries may lack the capacity to enforce ...
Romania's VAT Rate Cut to 20%
12 January 2016
Romania's headline value-added tax rate fell from 24% to 20% on January 1. The tax cut was included in the Tax Code amendments, which were passed last year after a lengthy debate on whether deep tax cuts for Romania were prudent. Earlier, lawmakers had signed off on a 5% reduction, to 19%, but the proposal was vetoed by the country's President, Klaus Iohannis. After the changes to the tax plan, former Prime Minister Victor Ponta said the Government would seek to install the 19% from 2017. Ponta resigned in November 2015 due to an unrelated matter.
India Makes Mandatory E-Filing of Tax Appeals
7 January 2016
Certain taxpayers in India will in future be required to lodge appeals before the Commissioner of Income Tax (Appeals) in electronic format, under new rules announced by the Ministry of Finance on December 30. The changes are being made as part of the Income Tax Department's digitization plan, aimed at making interactions between the tax authority and taxpayers less time-consuming and more efficient. The new rules apply to taxpayers who are already required to file their tax returns electronically. In India, the Commissioner of Income Tax (Appeals) is the first appellate authority for taxpayers in tax disputes. Under existing rules, appeals to the CIT (Appeals) are made using paper Form 3...
Major Changes to Czech VAT Requirements
4 January 2016
Introduced on Jan 1, VAT-registered persons in the Czech Republic are now required to provide the tax authority with more information on their transactions, as part of efforts to tackle VAT fraud announced in late 2014. VAT-registered persons need to file a monthly "control message", or "inspection report", to enable the tax agency to monitor their VAT affairs more effectively outside quarterly filing cycle. The report should include information on any transactions undertaken and the counterparty involved. Self-employed persons will be able to file this report quarterly, and it will be due for all businesses on the 25th day of the month following the tax period. The Czech Ministry of Fina...
Australia Launches Pre-Budget Consultations
22 December 2015
Australia's 2016-17 Budget "will continue the Government's commitment to restrain expenditure responsibly, while supporting economic growth to lift revenue," Alex Hawke, the Assistant Minister to the Treasurer, has said. Hawke launched the Government's pre-Budget consultation, which will run until February 5, 2016. He said the Government "places considerable importance on receiving community views in developing its budget strategy and policies." Hawke said of the Government's plans: "We are continuing to roll out our national plan for growth and jobs that is backing Australians by opening up trade, boosting innovation, building new infrastructure, modernizing the way we deliver products a...
India Seeks to Reduce Tax Litigation
18 December 2015
India's Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has issued a circular revising the monetary limits for the filing of legal appeals by the tax authority to reduce disputes with taxpayers. Under existing rules, the CBDT can appeal to the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal in cases where the level of disputed tax is at least INR400,000 (USD6,000), and to the High Courts in cases involving at least INR1m. The circular, issued by the Ministry of Finance on December 15, revises these thresholds to INR1m and INR2m, respectively. The new rules also apply retrospectively to pending cases. The CBDT has also issued an Office Memorandum calling for the formation of an advisory board of Chief Commissioners of...
China-Australia FTA Comes Into Force
16 December 2015
On December 9 in Sydney, Australia's Ambassador-designate to China, Jan Adams, and Chinese Ambassador Ma Zhaoxu exchanged diplomatic notes that set December 20, 2015, as the date for the entry into force of the free trade agreement (FTA) between the two countries. As the FTA will come into force in 2015, the tariff reductions for its first year will occur immediately. Its scheduled second year reductions will take effect on January 1, 2016. "This will deliver a very material early harvest for our exporters in the form of two rounds of annual tariff cuts in quick succession," said Australia's Minister for Trade and Investment Andrew Robb. "This will save our exporters hundreds-of-millions-...
Eurozone Countries Punt FTT Decision Into 2016
10 December 2015
Eurozone finance ministers met to discuss the problematic financial transactions tax (FTT) on December 8, but decided to give themselves another six months to work on an agreement over its terms. Estonia, however, appears to have cold feet. The latest discussions weren't a complete failure; the participating countries managed to agree on some basic parameters of the tax. Notably, they agreed that all share trades would be subject to the tax, including intra-day transactions. They also agreed that the taxation of derivatives should be based on the widest possible base and should not impact the cost of sovereign borrowing. Yet, many facets of the FTT's design remain up in the air, not least...
European Union Publishes New Tax Trends Report
4 December 2015
The European Commission has released a new version of its Taxation Trends in the European Union report, which provides a detailed statistical and economic analysis of the tax systems of the EU member states and Iceland and Norway, which are members of the European Economic Area. The report contains country chapters, which give an overview of the main trends in taxation for each of the 30 countries covered by the report. These country chapters begin with a table and graph showing trends in the country's tax revenues under the main tax headings for the period 2004 to 2013. Thereafter, they contain a table of the main tax reforms that the country has undertaken, categorized by the type of me...
HK and Mainland Sign Trade In Services Agreement
3 December 2015
The Agreement on Trade in Services under the Mainland and Hong Kong Closer Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) was signed by the SAR government and the central authorities on Friday (27/11/15), which is set to achieve liberalisation of trade in services between the two areas. The new agreement will be implemented from June 2016 and will fully or partially open up 153 sectors to Hong Kong service providers. Click here for the full story.
TGS Global Welcomes Newest Member Firm 'S+C Partners LLP' in Canada
1 December 2015
S+C Partners LLP has joined the TGS Global network. Directed by 6 Client Service Partners and 9 Client Service Managers who lead the professional teams, S+C is based in Mississauga in the central part of the Greater Toronto Area, just to the west of the city of Toronto itself. Since 1987, S+C Partners LLP has provided first-class service and trusted advice to private enterprise clients. S+C’s service offering includes: assurance, tax, advisory and information technology. The firm assists clients by supporting their financial commitments, minimizing tax liabilities, optimizing profitability and automating business processes with best in class IT solutions. Kalin McDonald,...
UK Climbs League Table Of Effective Tax Systems
26 November 2015
The UK has climbed to 15th place in the latest World Bank Group and PwC Paying Taxes report, and is third top among G-20 countries, behind Saudi Arabia and Canada. Paying Taxes 2015 measures how burdensome a country's tax regime is on the average medium-sized company. The report found that the UK's Total Tax Rate has fallen by 1.5 percentage points, to 32 percent, largely due to the fall in the rate of corporation tax, while the compliance sub-indicators are unchanged contributing to the stable position. Kevin Nicholson, Head of Tax at PwC, said: "The UK has a competitive tax system, but other countries continue to drive their own tax reform agenda. If the Government is to make the UK the...
Hong Kong Adapts To Global Tax Developments
24 November 2015
Hong Kong's Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury, K C Chan, has emphasized that the Government is committed to complying with the latest international tax developments, including on tax transparency and tackling base erosion and profit shifting. In his speech to the Taxation Institute of Hong Kong 2015 CTA Conference on November 20, he said: "For Hong Kong, as an international financial center, we can ill afford not to adapt to the rapidly evolving situation and catch up with the latest global developments." One of the major initiatives that the Government is currently addressing is the implementation of the international standard on the automatic exchange of financial accoun...
French Non-Resident Tax Law Provisions Under Fire
29 October 2015
The European Commission has asked France to comply with European Union procedural rules when it refunds to non-residents the tax deducted at source that was not due on dividends. Non-resident taxpayers who have invested in companies established in France must provide proof of payment by the French paying agent of the amount deducted from dividends when they apply for reimbursement of the part not due. In the event of a complaint, non-residents are allowed less time to make their application, as their starting point is the point at which the amount is deducted on the distribution of the dividends. The starting point for resident taxpayers is the time the tax notice is received. According t...
TGS Global Welcomes Newest Member Firm 'GBW' in Ireland
23 October 2015
GBW has joined the TGS Global network. With offices in Dublin and Cork, GBW has four partners. The firm specialises in the provision of accounting, compliance, tax, audit, business advisory and corporate recovery services to SMEs and owner-managed businesses. Managing partner David Gillett says: “We are delighted to be joining TGS Global at this time. Ireland continues to be an attractive location for inbound investment, whilst Irish companies are increasingly active overseas. We need to be connected to a dynamic international network to be able to tap into the business opportunities available and access the expertise of professional colleagues around the world for the benefit of ou...
New Zealand To Enhance R & D Tax Perks
22 October 2015
The Government of New Zealand announced on October 21, 2015, that a tax Bill intended to encourage innovation has passed its second reading. The Taxation (Annual Rates for 2015–16, Research and Development, and Remedial Matters) Bill "continues the Government's focus on helping New Zealand businesses to flourish and contribute to a more productive and competitive economy," the Minister said. "Innovative start-ups often face cash-flow problems or difficulty in accessing credit because many opportunities require significant investment. We want to help ease that cash-flow burden by giving innovative start-ups earlier access to some of their tax losses," he said. The tax Bill contains a...
EFTA & Malaysia Continue Free Trade Talks
14 October 2015
Delegations from the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) states – Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland – and Malaysia met for a fifth round of negotiations towards an Economic Partnership Agreement from October 6 to 9, 2015, in Oslo, Norway. Expert groups discussed text proposals in the following areas: trade in goods, including market access; investment; rules of origin; trade facilitation; technical barriers to trade; sanitary and phytosanitary measures; trade remedies; and trade and sustainable development. Further expert meetings are planned for services, competition, legal and horizontal issues, intellectual property rights, and rules of origin. Negotiations...
Chile & EEU Discuss Free Trade Deal
9 October 2015
Delegates from Chile and the Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC), the executive body of the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU), comprising Armenia, Belarus, Russia, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan, met on October 3 to discuss a free trade agreement (FTA). This was the first meeting of the Joint Commission on Trade and Investment set up by the two sides. During the meeting, Pablo Urria, the CEO of Chile's General Directorate for International Economic Affairs (DIRECON), said that Chile is eager to sign an FTA with the EEU. He urged the two sides to continue working on developing an agenda that will lead to the implementation of an FTA in the medium term. In June of this year, Chile and the EEU signed...
Singapore & Turkey Agree Free Trade Deal
8 October 2015
Turkey and Singapore have successfully concluded negotiations for a free trade agreement. During a bilateral meeting in Istanbul on October 6, 2015, Singapore's Minister for Trade and Industry, Lim Hng Kiang, and Turkey's Minister of Economy, Nihat Zeybekci, agreed to look to sign the TRSFTA during the G20 Leaders' Summit in Antalya in November 2015, and to implement the deal shortly thereafter. The "TRSFTA" is a comprehensive trade agreement, covering trade in goods and services, investment, government procurement, intellectual property rights, e-commerce, competition, and transparency.
EFTA, Philippines Hold Third Round Of FTA Talks
5 October 2015
The member states of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) held a third round of free trade negotiations with the Philippines from September 21 to 25, 2015, according to a statement from EFTA. Working groups convened to discuss all areas under negotiation, including trade in goods, trade in services, investment, intellectual property rights, competition, trade and sustainable development, legal and institutional issues, technical barriers to trade, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, trade remedies, rules of origin and trade facilitation. EFTA said that the meetings were held in a positive and efficient atmosphere, and good progress was achieved in several areas. The first and secon...
Chinese Delegation Visits Manaus FTZ
22 September 2015
A delegation from the city of Jinan in China's Shandong Province visited Brazil's Superintendency of the Manaus Free Trade Zone (SUFRAMA) on September 14, 2015. The purpose of the visit was for the delegates to study SUFRAMA's free zone model and to enhance cooperation between China and SUFRAMA, particularly in the agriculture sector. The delegates also expressed an interest in increasing the number of Chinese manufacturers in the free zone. The Deputy Superintendent of Operations at SUFRAMA, José Adilson Vieira, noted that there are already several Chinese companies established in the zone. He said that the free zone is interested in enhancing its partnership with China. Li Kuandu...
DIFC Reports Strong Growth In H1 2015
11 September 2015
The Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), a tax-free zone in the United Arab Emirates, has reported that the number of active companies registered at the Centre grew 8.3 percent in the first half of this year compared with the end of 2014, totaling 1,327. In the period from January to June, the number of people employed within the free zone increased by 4.8 percent to more than 18,521, the DIFC said. Essa Kazim, Governor of the DIFC and Chairman of the DIFC Authority, said that the strong growth rates show that the free zone is on the right track to achieving its goal of trebling its operations by 2024. "With a growing portfolio of active registered firms and an ever expanding and ...
EFTA States, Georgia Launch FTA Talks
10 September 2015
The member states of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) and Georgia held a first round of negotiations towards a free trade agreement (FTA) between September 1 and 4, 2015. Expert working groups convened to discuss draft texts in areas such as trade in goods (including rules of origin, technical barriers to trade, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, trade remedies, and trade facilitation), trade in services, investment, intellectual property rights, competition, trade and sustainable development, government procurement, and legal and institutional issues. EFTA said that the negotiations were held in a very constructive and efficient atmosphere and substantial progress was achieve...
India To Exempt Foreign Investors From MAT
9 September 2015
The Indian Government has announced that foreign investors will not be required to pay the country's minimum alternate tax (MAT) retrospectively, in a move designed to improve India's business environment. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said on September 1 that the Government had decided to take up the recommendations of a panel headed by judge AP Shah which was asked to clarify whether MAT applies to foreign companies, including foreign portfolio companies, after a u-turn by the previous government in 2012. Under India's tax law, corporations whose tax payable is less than 18.5 percent of book profits can also face MAT at that rate, plus surcharges where appropriate. Introduced in the 198...
Study Supports Switzerland's New Patent Box
25 August 2015
argeted tax incentives would provide a significant boost to research and development activities and help drive innovation in Switzerland, according to a new study. 700 large companies and SMEs were surveyed for the purposes of the study, which was prepared by KPMG Switzerland, the Swiss-American Chamber of Commerce, the Swiss Federation of Small and Medium Enterprises, and economiesuisse. 72 percent of participants said that tax incentives are important or very important to their choice of location for R&D activities. The only factors rated as more important were: opportunities to collaborate with education institutes, such as universities (85 percent); access to qualified, internatio...
Norway Partners With ASEAN Free Trade Bloc
17 August 2015
ASEAN foreign ministers accepted Norway as a Sectoral Dialogue Partner at their recent meeting in Kuala Lumpa, following Norway's application early this year to establish a formal partnership with the Asian bloc. The ASEAN free trade area includes Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. Taken together, the ASEAN bloc was Norway's fourth-largest trading partner and home to the highest concentration of Norwegian companies operating abroad in 2014, according to the Norwegian Foreign Ministry. Norway will be the first country in Western Europe to enter into a formal partnership with ASEAN. Minister of Foreign Affairs Børge Bren...
EU & Vietnam Agree Free Trade Deal
11 August 2015
The European Union (EU) and Vietnam have reached an agreement in principle for a free trade agreement (FTA) that will remove the majority of tariffs on goods traded between the two economies. The European Commission said that, following a telephone conversation between EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström and the Vietnamese Minister of Industry and Trade, Vu Huy Hoang, on August 4, all issues of substance have been agreed. Negotiators will now seek to resolve the remaining technical issues and finalize the legal text of the FTA. The EU-Vietnam FTA will eliminate more than 99 percent of tariffs. Upon its entry into force, Vietnam will liberalize 65 percent of import duties on EU ex...
Chile, Korea To Upgrade FTA
5 August 2015
Chile and South Korea discussed plans to upgrade their bilateral free trade agreement (FTA) during a meeting on July 23, 2015. The two sides used the meeting to define the steps to be taken to modernize the agreement, which has been in place for eleven years. It was tentatively agreed at the meeting that the two countries will meet in November to hold further discussions on upgrading the agreement. Pablo Urria, the Director of Bilateral Economic Affairs at Chile's General Directorate for International Economic Affairs (DIRECON), said that 370 Chilean products, mostly from the agribusiness sector, do not receive preferential tariff treatment under the current FTA. Meanwhile, South Korean o...
Mexico, Turkey Hold Fifth Round Of FTA Talks
3 August 2015
Mexico and Turkey held a fifth round of negotiations towards a free trade agreement (FTA) between July 21 and 24. Progress was made during the fifth round, according to a statement from Mexico's Ministry of Economy. The two sides discussed a range of issues related to the proposed FTA, including market access, rules of origin, customs and trade facilitation, technical barriers to trade, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, trade remedies, trade in services, investment, and legal and institutional affairs. It is expected that the FTA negotiations will be concluded by the end of this year. The first round of negotiations was held in July last year. Turkey is Mexico's second-largest trading ...
TGS Welcomes First Australian Firm Kelly + Partners
29 July 2015
Kelly + Partners, the fastest-growing accounting firm in Australia, has joined the TGS Global network. With 22 partners working from 10 offices in Sydney and other New South Wales and Queensland locations, the firm was launched in 2006 and is now a Top 30 Australian firm. Having grown at an annual average rate of 70% for the past nine years, with industry leading client and team member retention, an ambitious national expansion plan anticipates the addition of several new locations. Kelly + Partners has changed the way private businesses and their owners are serviced in the Australian accounting market, pioneering: a unique Corporate:Partnership ownership model an integrated systemised s...
EU Welcomes Breakthrough On IT Trade Pact Expansion
29 July 2015
The EU Ambassador to the WTO, Angelos Pangratis, has lauded the agreement from 54 WTO members on an expansion to the World Trade Organization's (WTO's) Information Technology Agreement. Nearly all the participants have now confirmed their acceptance of the product coverage list, which was finalized on July 24. Under the deal, taxes will be removed on high-tech goods, such as new-generation semi-conductors, GPS navigation systems, tools for manufacturing printed circuits, telecommunications satellites, and touch screens. "There is no need to stress the significance of this result. The figures provided by the WTO – USD1.3 trillion of annual trade – are already very telling by th...
Hong Kong Plugs Close Relationship With Singapore
28 July 2015
During her recent visit to Singapore, Hong Kong's Chief Secretary for Administration, Carrie Lam, spoke of the synergies and opportunities to cooperate that exist between the two major international financial centers. Apart from being each other's fifth-largest trading partner, the two territories invest in each other's economies, she said. Based on the latest figures, Singapore was the seventh-largest source of Hong Kong's inward direct investment, while Singapore was the eighth-largest destination of outward direct investment from Hong Kong. With the latest Global Financial Centers Index putting Hong Kong behind only New York and London, and just ahead of Singapore as a global financial...
India's GST Reform Takes Step Forward
24 July 2015
In a significant development on July 22, an Indian parliamentary committee approved the majority of the provisions of the constitutional amendment bill that will allow the proposed goods and services tax (GST) to be introduced in 2016. However, as opposition parties hold out for a better revenue compensation package for state governments, pushing the bill through Parliament is going to be far from straightforward for the ruling BJP Party. The proposed GST will represent one of the largest shake-ups of the Indian tax system for decades. By replacing a plethora of indirect taxes charged at state and federal level, the GST is designed to make India's consumption tax system far more efficient...
Canada, Israel Conclude FTA Talks
22 July 2015
Canada and Israel have concluded negotiations toward an expanded and modernized free trade agreement (FTA). The modernized Canada-Israel Free Trade Agreement (CIFTA) will reduce or eliminate Israeli tariffs on a range of agricultural, fish, and seafood products. It will also provide duty-free access to the Israeli market, subject to quotas, for certain items. It was agreed that Canada will not eliminate tariffs on "supply-managed products," such as dairy, poultry, and eggs, above quotas, but these quotas will be increased. Four existing areas of the current CIFTA have been modernized, namely those provisions relating to market access for goods, rules of origin, institutional provisions, a...
Peru Offers Tax Break For Scientific R&D
21 July 2015
The Peruvian Government has announced a tax break for companies that invest in scientific research and development and technological innovation. As of January 1, 2016, companies will be able to deduct up to 175 percent of their expenses against income tax when they invest in projects approved by the National Council for Science, Technology, and Technological Innovation (CONCYTEC). Authorization of a project by CONCYTEC will remain valid for four years. The tax incentive is part of a government initiative to diversify the economy. Piero Ghezzi, Minister of Production, said that the measure is intended to help build a culture of innovation in the country. The Minister said that the tax brea...
EFTA, Philippines Hold Second Round Of FTA Talks
9 July 2015
The European Free Trade Association (EFTA) member states – Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland – and the Philippines held a second round of negotiations towards a free trade agreement from June 29 to July 3, 2015. Various working groups convened in Geneva, Switzerland, to discuss areas such as trade in goods (including technical barriers to trade, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, trade remedies, and trade facilitation), trade in services, investment, intellectual property rights, competition, trade and sustainable development, and legal and institutional issues. The meetings were said to have been held in a positive and efficient atmosphere, and good progress w...
Laws Released To Govern New Abu Dhabi Free Zone
7 July 2015
The Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), a soon-to-launch free zone in the United Arab Emirates, announced on June 30, 2015, that it has published draft financial services legislation for open-market consultation. The draft legislation covers fund management, mandatory disclosure requirements, market conduct rules, and the ADGM's disciplinary actions and enforcement powers, among other things. The public consultation will last for six weeks, ending on August 11, the free zone said. Ahmed Ali Al Sayegh, Chairman of ADGM, said: "The publication of Abu Dhabi Global Market's draft financial services legislation is a major milestone on the road to establishing ADGM as an International Financial Cen...
TGS Global Walks in Support of Sunrise Day Camp
29 June 2015
WOODBURY, NEW YORK, June 29, 2015 – TGS Global member firms, Gettry Marcus CPA, P.C. and Taylorcocks, didn’t let a little thing like the Atlantic Ocean separate them, as they walked simultaneously, on Sunday June 14, 2015 at the 10th Annual SunriseWALKS on behalf of the Sunrise Association. The Gettry Marcus SunRisers, walked at the 10th Annual SunriseWALKS on June 14th at the Sunrise Campgrounds in Wheatley Heights, Long Island. The Taylorcocks team participated in the 1st Annual London SunriseWALKS in Walpole Park. Together, Gettry Marcus and Taylorcocks raised in excess of $45,000. The mission of the Sunrise Association is to br...
TGS Welcomes New Member Firm DNF Belgium
23 June 2015
Dnf Belgium has joined the TGS Global network. Based in Antwerp, Dnf has been established for 50 years. The firm’s 4 partners have all previously held senior positions at “Big 4” firms and with their 30 professional staff offer a range of accountancy, tax and legal compliance and advisory services. Dnf is a pioneer of e-accountancy services in Belgium and their mainly SME client base is increasingly active internationally. Dnf partner Ludovic Mertens believes that membership of TGS Global will enable the firm to provide more robust services to its clients with cross-border requirements: “We have been looking for a suitable alliance with an international network for...
TGS Welcomes First Chilean Firm
11 June 2015
Tax Global has joined the TGS Global network. Based in Santiago, the firm provides tax, business advisory, audit and outsourcing services throughout Chile. Their professional team share a common culture for providing high quality services, based not only on technical experience but also on commitment and global market knowledge. The firm promotes the highest quality, avoids excessive bureaucracy and encourages the use of technology. The firm’s tax practice offers tax compliance, consulting and international tax services. Advice on transfer pricing, tax litigation and restructuring services designed to achieve effective compliance, manage tax risks and control associated costs. The a...
UAE Free Zone Drums Up French Business
11 June 2015
A delegation from the RAK Investment Authority (RAKIA), a free zone operator in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), recently met with Majdi Abed, Consul General of France, to discuss business opportunities for French companies interested in expanding to the Middle East. The delegation is currently holding two events in France to elaborate on the economic and financial benefits available to companies expanding to the Middle East through its two industrial parks, in the Al Hamra and Al Ghail areas of Ras Al Khaimah. The industrial parks are home to over 7,500 companies and manufacturers in various sectors, including metal, chemicals, food, plastics, and automotives. The Authority noted that the...
TGS Welcomes First Georgian Firm
11 June 2015
Established in 2008 and expanded by merger with another audit firm in 2011, KK Group will be TGS Global’s first member in Georgia. Based in Tbilisi, the firm provides audit, accounting, tax and consulting services to local companies across a wide range of sectors and to a number of foreign-owned enterprises based not only regionally in Iran, Azerbaijan, Romania and Armenia but as far afield as India, Italy and Latvia. Founding Director Konstantine Kiknadze explains his reasons for joining TGS Global: “After a difficult period for our country, the economy is now benefitting from increased stability, improving inbound investment and growth in international trade. This is therefo...
TGS Global European Conference - Frankfurt
15 May 2015
TGS Global recently held their annual European Conference in Frankfurt, 52 delegates from 21 member firms across Europe attended the event which was the largest regional conference for the Network to date. Richard Keyes, CEO of TGS Global remarked: “We are delighted with the success of our recent European conference. Our European firms our members were able to share a wealth of knowledge and expertise with each other which greatly enhances our ability to serve clients within this region”
Fuad Abdul Kareem & Partners join TGS Global Network
6 May 2015
Fuad Abdul Kareem & Partners has joined the TGS Global accountancy network as its first member firm in Qatar. Based in Doha, the firm was formerly the Qatar office of Ibraham Abbasi & Partners, a long-established regional firm. With 3 partners, the firm provides audit, accountancy, tax and consultancy services. Partner Murad Mahmoud commented “Joining TGS Global will enable us to capitalise on our new brand and the many opportunities for cross-border business. Alongside our investment in people and systems, we see membership of a rapidly growing international network as a catalyst for growth.” “We welcome Fuad Abdul Kareem & Partners to TGS Global”, say...
NOUV MT joins TGS Global Network
6 May 2015
NOUV MT has joined the TGS Global network as its new member firm in Malta. Based in St Julian’s, the three partners have extensive professional and industry experience. They provide a complete range of bespoke corporate, audit, business consultancy and tax services, both to local businesses and to international companies or high net worth individuals wishing to set-up in or relocate to Malta. Managing Partner Mark Aquilina says: ”Malta is a member of the EU, with English as one of its official languages. Apart from a favourable regime for foreign shareholders, Malta offers an efficient and robust regulatory regime and has a growing reputation as an international f...
Australia Consults On CGT Reform
28 April 2015
The Australian Treasury is consulting on exposure draft legislation that would amend the capital gains tax (CGT) treatment of the sale and purchases of businesses involving certain earnout rights. The legislation would give effect to the Government's December 2013 announcement that this measure, initially proposed by, but not enacted under the former Labor administration, would proceed. It does however amend the original scheme, to address concerns raised during a previous consultation. Questions were raised as to how the new approach would interact with various CGT concessions, especially those for small businesses, and whether these concessions would be available without considerable ...
China Announces Further FTZ Plans
24 April 2015
Prior to the inauguration of Guangdong's new free trade zone (FTZ) on April 21, China's State Council released a foreign investment negative list for all of the new pilot zones in Tianjin city and Guangdong and Fujian provinces, together with further reforms already established in Shanghai. The new negative list precludes foreign investment in projects in 49 industries. Those industries include agricultural seeding, fishing, oil and gas, aviation manufacturing, and nuclear power. Foreign investments in the FTZs outside those business areas should enjoy the same treatment as domestic investment. The State Council added that clauses that favor investors in the FTZs, in the Closer Econ...
Malaysian Tax Guide On New Incentive For Multinationals
20 April 2015
Building on an announcement in Budget 2015 that new tax incentives will be offered to companies choosing Malaysia as the 'principal hub' of their regional operations, the Ministry of International Trade and Industry recently issued detailed guidelines on the implementation of the new offering. The 'Incentive for the Establishment of Principal Hub' is to replace the existing International Procurement Centers, Regional Distribution Centers, and Operational Headquarters (OHQ) Incentive Schemes, which are to be terminated on April 30, 2015. The regime is intended to encourage businesses to base regional and global business functions and operations in Malaysia to manage risks, make decisions, ...
TGS Global Welcomes a New Member in India
16 April 2015
K G Somani & Co, New Delhi has joined the TGS Global accountancy network as its first member firm in India. The firm of 12 partners and over 100 staff members has headquarters in Delhi and offices in Mumbai. K G. Somani & Co was originally established in 1963 and was reconstituted as a partnership in 1986. The firm has since provided a complete range of accounting, audit, taxation, assurance, business advisory and back office services to a wide variety of enterprises and financial institutions across India. Managing Partner Mr. K.G. Somani is a past President of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India. He was Indian nominee of the IFAC Council during 1990-92. Partner Anuj ...
Dubai Supports Development Of Indian FTZ
15 April 2015
A Government delegation from India led by the Minister of State for Finance, Jayant Sinha, visited the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) in the United Arab Emirates on April 12, 2015, to discuss the experiences of the free zone. The delegation toured the DIFC premises with special emphasis on the operations of the DIFC Courts to gain an insight into the legal systems and international standards adopted by the financial hub. Commenting on his visit, Sinha said: “In India, we are currently working on creating India’s first smart city, which is also an International Financial Centre – GIFT (Gujarat International Financial and Tech city). I was happy to share my th...
Canada, Chile Modernize Free Trade Agreement
14 April 2015
Canada and Chile have announced the conclusion of negotiations to modernize their 18-year-old free trade agreement (CCFTA). According to Canada's Foreign Affairs Department, the update will make the CCFTA a 'next-generation' trade agreement. The modernized agreement contains a new chapter on sanitary and phytosanitary measures and includes technical amendments to the existing government procurement chapter. Both countries agreed to bring amendments to CCFTA rules of origin into force as soon as possible. The change will enhance market access for Canadian goods, such as chemical products and plastics, base metals, machinery, and appliances. This is the latest in a series of update...
TGS Global Welcomes a New Member in Sao Paulo, Brazil
10 April 2015
4Partners Auditoria e Consultoria and sister firm 4Partners Auditores Independentes have joined the TGS Global accountancy network as its first member in Brazil. Based in Sao Paulo, the founding partners were formerly partners of Terco Grant Thornton and subsequently EY Brasil. 4Partners was founded to meet the need in Brazil for more flexible and personalised accountancy, tax and audit services to mid-market companies. Commenting on this development, Ricardo Afonso Parra of 4Partners says: “Coming from a Big 4 background, we recognise the value that membership of a credible, professional and high quality network can bring to a firm. We believe that the dynamic Brazilian economy pre...
China Approves Three More Free Trade Zones
27 March 2015
On March 25, the Chinese Government formally approved plans to establish new free trade zones (FTZs) in the city of Tianjin and the provinces of Fujian and Guangdong, copying the first such zone established in Shanghai in September 2013. The decision had been anticipated for some time, as the Government had already stated its intention to use the example of the trade, financial, and investment liberalization measures introduced in Shanghai to boost economic growth throughout China. The Shanghai FTZ has concentrated on financial services and investment, commodities trading, and logistics (particularly international ship management), while offering additional tax incentives for invest...
EU Commission Release Corporate Tax Reform Plan
20 March 2015
On March 18, 2015, the European Commission presented a package of transparency measures aimed at tackling corporate tax avoidance and harmful tax competition within the European Union. The transparency package is said to be "the first step in the Commission's ambitious agenda for 2015 to fight tax avoidance." The Commission said it will be followed, before the summer, by a detailed Action Plan on corporate taxation, which will set out the Commission's views on fair and efficient corporate taxation in the EU and propose a number of ideas to achieve this objective. This will include reconsideration of proposals for a Common Consolidated Corporate Tax Base among member states. The package se...
Austria Announces Substantial Income Tax Reforms
19 March 2015
Austria has announced proposals to provide personal income tax cuts worth EUR5bn (USD5.3bn) to lower income earners. The new tax package, which aims to boost economic growth by reducing the lowest income tax rate from 36.5 to 25 percent, will mean that lower income taxpayers will pay, on average, EUR1,000 less a year. The Government plans to finance the reform by tackling non-compliance, closing tax loopholes, and raising the top income tax rate to 55 percent. The 10 percent reduced rate of value-added tax, which is applied broadly, would also be raised to 13 percent. Austria also intends to raise property tax, and an increase in tax on dividends income is being considered. Th...
Singapore To Enforce New Top Income Tax Rate
12 March 2015
The Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore is to closely monitor company formation behavior to ensure that high income earners do not set up companies to avoid the higher personal income tax (PIT) rates announced in the 2015/16 Budget. The Senior Minister of State for Finance and Transport, Josephine Teo, announced the initiative when delivering the Ministry of Finance Committee of Supply Speech on March 9. She was replying to comments that the higher PIT rates, including a 22 percent top rate (compared with the previous highest rate of 20 percent), could result in lower tax receipts. Commenting on concerns that high-income earners could attempt to pay Singapore's lower 17 percent co...
Cameron Pledges UK Tax Cuts
10 March 2015
UK Prime Minister David Cameron has pledged to raise the threshold for the 40 percent rate of income tax to GBP50,000 (USD75,362). During a speech on education, Cameron said: 'That rate was only ever meant for the better off. But over the years it's dragged more and more people into its reach, police officers, teachers - people on middle incomes.' He added that raising the threshold to GBP50,000 would ensure that 'more hardworkng people can keep more of the money they earn.' The threshold is currently GBP31,866. Cameron's Chancellor, George Osborne, will deliver the Coalition Government's final pre-election Budget later this month.
HMRC Releases 2013-14 Transfer Pricing Stats
9 March 2015
Challenges by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) to the transfer pricing arrangements adopted by a number of multinational companies secured an additional GBP1.1bn (USD1.66bn) in tax in 2013-14, the UK's tax authority has said. In 2008, HMRC introduced an approach to transfer pricing inquiries involving greater specialization and team work, a focus on higher risk issues, action plans for inquiries, and the active monitoring of progress. A specialist group, set up in 2008 to examine transfer pricing cases, has secured more than GBP5.8bn in additional tax since its creation, the tax office said. The latest HMRC statistics reveal that this group's transfer pricing yield in 2013-14 was GBP1....
IMF Welcomes New GST For Malaysia
6 March 2015
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has welcomed the imminent introduction of a goods and services tax in Malaysia but has urged authorities to gradually increase the rate. The GST is due to come into effect on April 1, 2015, at a rate of six percent – the lowest rate in the region, followed by Singapore and Thailand, which levy seven percent GST rates. Gradually raising the rate would help Malaysia reduce its fiscal dependence on hydrocarbons and balance the budget, the IMF said in its 2014 Article IV consultation report for the country. The Fund also said that the GST regime’s efficacy can be enhanced by gradually narrowing the list of exempt and zero-rated items. By provi...
Hong Kong 2015-16 Budget
6 March 2015
In his 2015-16 Budget, the Financial Secretary of Hong Kong continues to offer favorable tax measures to companies and individual tax payers, amid a fiscal surplus of HK$63.8 billion. He continues to provide support for Small and Medium Enterprises and start-up companies, though focusing on cultural and creative industries, fashion industry, and film Industry. Moderate growth for Hong Kong is forecasted at 2.3%, while inflation continues to ease and unemployment remained at about 3% in 2014. Tax Reductions The Financial Secretary proposed a one-off reduction of Profits Tax for companies for the year of assessment 2014/15 by 75%, subject to a ceiling of $20,000 per case. The proposed tax r...
Italy Expects Tax Influx From Swiss Agreement
2 March 2015
The signing of a double taxation agreement (DTA) protocol between Switzerland and Italy, which includes a provision for the exchange of information upon request, has fueled an expectation that the Italian Treasury will be able to collect substantial additional tax revenue this year. While it could take up to two years for the protocol to be ratified by both countries, the signing of the agreement will mean that Switzerland can now be removed from the 'black list' of countries that do not have an adequate tax information exchange arrangement in place with Italy. In turn, that will mean that Italians with undeclared assets in Switzerland will be allowed to enter into Italy's current v...
China Cuts SME Tax Burden By USD10bn In 2014
24 February 2015
China's State Administration of Taxation (SAT) has disclosed that, in 2014, preferential corporate income tax rates, value-added tax (VAT) exemptions, and business tax concessions provided RMB61.2bn (USD9.8bn) in tax relief to small and micro enterprises. Tax relief for China's small and micro enterprises is considered very important, as these entities account for more than 75 percent of the total number of businesses in the country and provide jobs for almost 80 percent of urban workers. In a bid to support smaller firms, from January 1, 2014, the Chinese Government increased the scope of a tax break for companies with annual incomes below RMB60,000 to cover those with annual incom...
OECD Calls On Italy To Rein In Tax Breaks
23 February 2015
OECD Calls On Italy To Rein In Tax Breaks While calling on the Italian Government to follow through on its efforts to reduce the fiscal deficit, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has also proposed that ongoing tax reforms 'should include reassessing the wide array of special tax rates and exemptions.' In its latest Economic Survey of Italy, the OECD said that 'sustained public expenditure restraint and tax increases have gone a long way to strengthen the fiscal position,' and Italy should 'stick to the planned fiscal strategy so as to bring the debt-to-GDP ratio onto a declining path.' The OECD said that the Government should 'con...
Indonesian 2015 Budget Targets Higher Revenue
19 February 2015
On February 13, the House of Representatives approved the final version of Indonesia's 2015 Budget, which targets a significant increase in tax revenue to produce a reduced 1.9 percent budget deficit for the year. This would be lower than the 2.2 percent shortfall estimated in the preliminary budget approved in September last year, before President Joko Widodo's Government came to office. Revenues are due to rise to IDR1,440 trillion, up from IDR1,140 trillion last year, to enable increased spending on infrastructure and welfare, through tax administration improvements and a broadening of the tax base. Value-added tax-registered businesses will be required to provide tax invoices to...
UK Business Investment Boosted By Tax Reliefs
18 February 2015
UK businesses will invest a record GBP2.8bn (USD4.3bn) under the Annual Investment Allowance this year, according to LDF, a credit broker to UK businesses. HM Revenue and Customs's (HMRC's) internal projections suggest that capital investments by businesses using the AIA will rise 22 percent, up from the GBP2.3bn invested last year. The AIA was introduced in April 2008, and allows most businesses, regardless of their size, to claim tax relief on capital investments. In January 2013, the Government temporarily increased the AIA limit from GBP25,000 to GBP250,000. A second, temporary rise followed in April 2014, when the limit was increased to GBP500,000. The cap will return to GBP25,...
Portugal Improves Flat-Rate Scheme For Farmers
13 February 2015
Portugal has confirmed the introduction of tax compensation for farmers under the sector’s flat-rate value-added tax (VAT) special scheme to ameliorate the issue of otherwise unrecoverable VAT being incurred on inputs. The flat-rate special scheme is intended to support Portuguese farmers by enabling them to opt out of standard VAT arrangements and enable them to recover part of the VAT incurred on inputs. This is achieved through a flat-rate amount of compensation (calculated based on macroeconomic statistics), rather than through input tax credits. Small farmers who join the special scheme will receive compensation worth six percent of total sales to VAT-registered taxpayers, capp...
Simpler, Lower Tax Rates Would Boost Canada
12 February 2015
A uniform Canadian corporate tax rate would encourage capital investment and attract profitable corporations to the country, while not imposing a significant revenue cost on the federal or provincial governments, a new report from the University of Calgary says. The report, which was written by Duanjie Chen and Jack M. Mintz for the University’s School of Public Policy, considers how Canada might become more globally competitive. It points out that Canada has slipped down international competitiveness rankings and now has the 14th-highest tax burden on investments by medium-size and large corporations among Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries. Sin...
European States, Georgia Continue FTA Talks
11 February 2015
The European Free Trade Association (EFTA) said that it sent a delegation to Georgia on February 4, 2015, to discuss a timeframe for free trade negotiations. At the meeting, the two sides decided to aim for a comprehensive free trade agreement (FTA) covering trade in goods, trade in services, investment, intellectual property rights, competition, government procurement, trade and sustainable development, and legal and institutional issues, including dispute settlement. A first round of talks is planned for the summer of 2015 with the intention of concluding negotiations within a year. The EFTA member states – Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland – signed a Joint Decl...
Switzerland, Liechtenstein Conclude DTA Talks
10 February 2015
Switzerland and Liechtenstein have concluded negotiations toward a new double tax agreement (DTA), which should enter into force from January 2017. Switzerland's Federal Department of Finance (FDF) announced on February 5, 2015, that talks concluded on February 2. The FDF expects the deal to be signed this summer and, pending the completion of respective national approval procedures, for it to be applied from January 1, 2017. The new DTA is based on the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development's (OECD's) model agreement, and covers income and capital. It will replace a 1995 agreement currently in force, which governs only the taxation of certain income. Maximum withhold...
Indonesia Expected To Launch Tax Amnesty
9 February 2015
In an effort to expand the taxpayer base, the Indonesian Government is expected to announce the introduction this year of an amnesty for those who have failed to make tax declarations. In the context of low oil prices and continued global economic uncertainty, the Government has already announced that it will focus on improving tax compliance rates in a bid to raise Indonesia's relatively low tax-to-GDP ratio to fund infrastructure and welfare spending policies. Finance Minister Bambang Brodjonegoro has now confirmed, in a recent interview with The Jakarta Post, that the Directorate General of Taxation will look to increase the number of taxpayers in Indonesia by way of an amnesty. ...
Italy To Alter Controversial New Self-Employed Tax System
6 February 2015
Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has indicated that the new reduced tax regime introduced for Italian self-employed individuals with effect from January 1, 2015, will be improved, following protests concerning the lower benefits offered compared with the previous regime. The new 15 percent fixed tax regime is available for self-employed individuals, including entrepreneurs and sole traders. Eligibility depends on a business’s annual turnover, with maximum turnover ranging from EUR15,000 to EUR40,000, depending on the sector in which the business is engaged. It replaces their liability to individual income tax (federal, regional, and local), value-added tax, and the regional tax o...
Portugal Steps Up Fight Against Tax Evasion
4 February 2015
Portugal's Ministry of Finance announced on January 29, 2015, that the Government has approved a three-year plan to combat tax evasion. The 2015-2017 plan includes a list of 40 priority measures to combat tax fraud and evasion and clamp down on the grey economy. A key measure is the introduction of an electronic invoicing system, which is designed to make it easier for taxpayers to comply with their tax obligations, the Finance Ministry said. The 2012-2014 strategic plan to combat tax evasion delivered positive results, according to the Ministry, supporting a 6.2 percent increase in tax revenues between January and November, 2014.
UK Higher Rate Taxpayers Facing HMRC Scrutiny
28 January 2015
The UK tax authority, HM Revenue and Customs, collected 60 percent more tax revenues in the 2013/14 fiscal year from the operations of its specialist affluent taxpayer unit, according to international law firm Pinsent Masons. According to data provided by the agency, HMRC’s “Affluent Unit” collected GBP137.2m in additional tax from investigations in 2013/14, up from GBP85.7m in 2012/13. HMRC opened the Affluent Unit in 2011 to increase oversight of the tax affairs of those taxpayers who are not covered by HMRC’s High Net Worth Unit. HMRC’s Affluent Unit now investigates the tax affairs of UK residents with an annual income of over GBP150,000 or wealth of over...
Switzerland, Italy Reach Agreement On Tax Treaty
20 January 2015
Italy and Switzerland have agreed an amendment to their double tax agreement to enhance tax information exchange provisions. It is hoped that the agreement will be signed before the March 2 deadline set by Italy's new voluntary disclosure program to enable Switzerland's removal from Italy's 'black list.' After three years of talks, the conclusion of the agreement follows a recent push by Italian lawmakers to approve the voluntary disclosure program, which will allow Italian residents to regularize undeclared capital held abroad. There is a 60-day deadline, from the date of its entry into force, for countries that have not yet signed an adequate tax information exchange (TIE) provision ...
UK Parliamentary Hearing Held On BEPS Response
12 January 2015
British Members of Parliament (MPs) have questioned the Government's unilateral decision to push for the introduction of a Diverted Profits Tax (DPT) ahead of the completion of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development's (OECD's) work on base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS). In a debate held in Parliament on January 7, 2015, MP Shabana Mahmood said: 'We anticipated that [the Government's] preferred way of proceeding on BEPS would be to await the final reporting in September before thinking how to go further. They have of course moved a little more quickly with the diverted profits tax.' 'Was there a feeling that BEPS would not produce much of a result in relation ...
Hong Kong Reviews Property Tax Measures
23 December 2014
Following a question in Hong Kong's Legislative Council (LegCo) on December 17, Secretary for Transport and Housing Anthony Cheung Bing-leung replied that the stamp duty measures put in place since 2012 have helped to 'stabilize the residential property market, and are effective in combating short-term speculative activities.' In addition to the increased Special Stamp Duty (SSD) rate (from 10 percent to 20 percent on properties held for less than 36 months) and the introduction of a 15 percent Buyer's Stamp Duty (BSD) on purchases of residential properties in 2012, the Government had also felt it necessary, in February 2013, to double the rates of existing ad valorem stamp duty (AVD) ...
TGS Global Welcomes A New Member in LA
22 December 2014
CNM LLP has joined the TGS Global accountancy network as its second member in the USA. Founded in 2003 and based in Los Angeles, California, CNM LLP is an accounting and advisory firm. Leveraging the significant expertise of its experienced professionals, CNM provides clients with a full array of accounting and advisory services including those relating to financial reporting, internal audit and information systems. CNM represents clients ranging from entrepreneurial start-up ventures to Fortune 500 companies, both public and privately held. Clients benefit from the team’s expertise gained at Big 4 accounting firms and in industry, and its professional and personal approach to servi...
German Court Orders Inheritance Tax Overhaul
22 December 2014
Germany's Federal Constitutional Court on December 17, 2014, ordered the Government to make changes to a law that grants inheritance tax breaks to family businesses. The Court said that the current provisions will apply for the time being, but revisions should be made by June 30, 2016. The Court ruling acknowledged that the legislature has a right to award preferential treatment under the tax code to small- and medium-sized companies managed by their owners to shield them from tax-related liquidity problems which may undermine their existence and the jobs they provide. However, it said that such preferential treatment is disproportionate when it is applied to large companies as w...
UK Issues Extra Guidance On 2015 VAT MOSS Changes
15 December 2014
The UK tax authority, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), has issued additional guidance to support small- and medium-sized businesses in complying with the change to European Union value-added tax (VAT) place of supply rules for broadcasting, telecommunications, and electronic (BTE) services from January 1, 2015. The release of Revenue and Customs Brief 46 of 2014 follows a call from Enterprise Nation, a group of small businesses and freelancers, for concessions and guidance. They warned the UK Treasury that there is a general lack of knowledge among small traders about the changes, and raised concerns about the challenges and costs of compliance. From January 1, 2015, the place of supply for...
Singapore, US Sign FATCA IGA
12 December 2014
On December 9, Singapore and the United States signed a Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA), following its initialing in May this year. FATCA, which was enacted by the US Congress in 2010 and took effect on July 1, 2014, is intended to ensure that the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) obtains information on financial accounts held at foreign financial institutions (FFIs) by US persons. Failure by an FFI to disclose information on their US clients will result in a requirement to withhold 30 percent tax on payments of US-sourced income. To address situations where foreign law would prevent an FFI from complying with the terms of an FFI agreement, ...
US Congress Urged To Focus On TPP, Not TPA
11 December 2014
While President Barack Obama has indicated that he would press for congressional approval for Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) renewal as an aid in current United States trade agreement negotiations, House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee Ranking Member Sander Levin (D – Michigan) has stressed the need to continue to focus wholly on those negotiations. In the US, Congress has the authority to regulate international trade, but the President has the authority to negotiate trade agreements with foreign governments. With the objective that US trading partners can be assured that concluded trade agreements would be fast-tracked through Congress, TPA would prohibit amendments to...
TCS Hong Kong rebranding to TGS
27 November 2014
Rebranding of TCS to TGS A dynamic year with the latest global ranking at top 18; and “Rising Star” award. The year has been an exciting one for TGS Global, a newly established international network of accounting firms who is now ranked 18th in the Accountancy Age Top 20 report. In addition, the TGS Global network has beaten off strong competition to win the “Rising Star” award at the International Accounting Bulletin annual awards in October. Participating in the successful development of the TGS Global network, TCS Hong Kong and its group of companies have adopted the new TGS branding into TGS Aitia Hong Kong group of companies with immediate effect: Aitia Taxati...
SWITZERLAND: Corporate Tax Reform III
26 November 2014
On 22 September 2014, the Swiss Federal Government published draft legislation for the IIIrd Corporate Tax Reform ('CTR III') and invited interested parties to submit comments until 31 January 2015. The proposed tax reform package replace the existing cantonal preferential tax regimes for holding, administrative, domiciliary and 'mixed' companies within a certain period (extension of the existing practise might be extend for 10 years) with a tax-free basis step-up of assets that previously benefited of the abolished preferential regimes and introduces a new license box regime at the cantonal and communal level, as well as a notional interest deduction regime at all taxation levels. ...
Federal Council of Switzerland defines VAT liability of foreign companies more precisely
26 November 2014
During its meeting dated November 12, 2014, the Swiss Federal Council approved two amendments to the Value Added Tax Ordinance (VATO) and resolved to bring them into force on 1. January 2015. In the future, foreign companies, just like Swiss companies, will be liable for tax in the event of deliveries in Switzerland that are subject to purchase tax if their turnover in Switzerland amounts to at least CHF 100,000. This concerns primarily foreign companies that carry out work in the construction and construction-related sector in Switzerland. Foreign companies will remain exempt from the tax liability if they solely provide services that are subject to purchase tax, even if they thus genera...
Rocha Salas y Cia., S.C. Joins TGS Global
16 October 2014
For more than 40 years, Rocha Salas has been assisting clients in Mexico by providing them with a broad experience in the areas of accounting, audit and administration as well as tax advice. Horacio Rocha San Miguel, Managing Partner of Rocha Salas, says, “We are always looking for new services and for ways to improve our current offer. By joining TGS Global, we will be able to help our clients with their international efforts. They will know that through our network, they will receive high quality services in other countries where they might be doing business. And this will differentiate us from other mid-size firms in Mexico. We appreciate the international focus that TGS Gl...
TGS Global welcomes a new member in Thailand
8 October 2014
TGS Global is pleased to welcome Enlighten Advisory to the network. Enlighten Advisory is based in Bangkok, Thailand and was established in 2013 with the aim of being a leading provider of business solutions in Thailand. Enlighten Advisory achieves this by providing clients with international standard solutions and by always aiming to provide the highest level of satisfaction to their clients. Nutluk Pongsakornvasu, head of Business Development at Enlighten Advisory, says “international business has always been in our mind and we believe that TGS Global is the key to our development by allowing us to form strong alliances and gain support from across the globe. Joining TGS gives us ...
Spain infringing EU Law
19 September 2014
On the 3rd of September of 2014 the Court of Justice of the European Union ruled Spanish law on Inheritance and gift tax was breaching EU Law (case C-127/12). It should be possible for non residents to claim back the overpaid amounts regarding inheritance and gift tax paid in Spain. Background InformationIn October 2011, the European Commission decided to refer Spain to the EU's Court of Justice for discriminatory rules on Spanish inheritance and gift tax that require non-residents to pay higher taxes than residents. For example, a resident of any EU member State inherits a house valued at 600.000€ from his father residing in Barcelona. As the son is not a Spanish...
TGS global wins at the International Accounting Bulletin annual awards.
17 September 2014
TGS Global, the new international network of accounting firms has beat off strong competition to win the "rising star" award. The judges honoured tgs because of its strong global growth, clear modern brand and focus on supporting SMEs around the world through business development programs and initiatives. On 16th September 2014 the International Accounting Bulletin hosted its annual global industry awards which reward worldwide best practice in the accounting profession. James Frost, CEO of TGS Global commented "We are delighted to receive this award, in our short history we have achieved some significant goals and have attracted strong value and growth orientated members and we have...
China Extends Export Tax Rebate Scheme
18 August 2014
It has been announced that, from September 1, there will be an extension to China's export tax rebate pilot program, so as to encourage exports through Shanghai's Yangshan Free Trade Port, and as part of an effort to bolster the country's flagging foreign trade sector. In a joint statement issued by China's Ministry of Finance, State Administration of Taxation and General Administration of Customs, it was confirmed that the pilot program will be extended to eight ports – in the cities of Nanjing, Suzhou, Lianyungang, Wuhu, Jiujiang, Yueyang, Qingdao and Wuhan – feeding containers with customs clearance into Yangshan, from which they must also depart from China. Previously, onl...
TGS Global adds new member firm in Jakarta
28 July 2014
TGS Global has appointed AU & Partners in Jakarta, Indonesia, to the network. The firm has been providing professional value added services in Indonesia for over 22 years. AU & Partners offers audit & assurance, accounting and tax services, in addition to consulting in the areas of legal, financial management, operations, and human resources. They operate across a wide range of industry sectors and their clients recognise the firm as their trusted business partner in Indonesia. Mikail Jam’an, Partner at AU & Partners, says “International business development is a high priority for us. We are actively serving international clients with direct inv...
TGS Nortex Chinese Tax Update Webinar
22 July 2014
The State Administration of Taxation (“SAT”) promulgated the circulars for applying the VAT reform, effective from January 1st 2012, which means VAT would be applicable to some industries instead of Business Tax (“BT”). Shanghai launched the VAT reform on January 1st 2012. Currently, this policy is being used all over China. The service scope involved in the VAT reform includes: Transportation service (11% VAT rate) Postal service (11% VAT rate) Part of the modern service [6% VAT rate (except tangible movable property leasing services that apply to 17% VAT rate)] Telecommunications service (basic telecommunications services apply to 11% VAT ...
Accounting Today Showcases Gettry Marcus
18 July 2014
When US firm Gettry Marcus moved to new offices this winter, they didn't just leave their old offices behind - they left the old idea of the office behind. Following the vision that managing partner Steve Marcus had for what he calls his ideal firm of the future, the firm abandoned the traditional office set-up and replaced it with an open-floor concept. "Our goal was to improve the interaction and communication among our staff members," said Marcus. To read the full article visit: Accounting Today Gettry Marcus To watch the interview with Gettry Marcus on their new office visit Gettry Marcus' website
TGS Global Shortlisted for IAB
15 July 2014
TGS Global has been named as a finalist for the “Rising Star Network” Award in the International Accounting Bulletin Awards (IAB) for 2014. The IAB Awards were first held in 2012 and since then have become well respected across the industry. The awards celebrate the achievements of individuals and businesses who have contributed to moving the accounting industry forward. James Frost, CEO of TGS Global, says “We are thrilled to be recognised as a Rising Star in the competitive arena of international accounting networks. The TGS network strives to be different and to offer SME’s a network of accounting firms that are truly internationally minded and being a finalist ...
Alberto Soares & Associates expands into Angola
14 July 2014
Alberto Soares & Associates has expanded into Angola as part of a joint venture. The Portuguese firm was established in 2012 and currently has over 20 staff members in four offices across Portugal. They offer a proactive approach to their clients with services that are always focused on providing the highest standards and quality to fulfil the needs of their clients. It is with the aim of further supporting their clients that they have chosen to expand into Angola. Alberto Soares, Partner at Alberto Soares & Associates, says "we decided to expand into Angola in order to support our clients who are moving to this country as a reaction to the Portuguese economic an...
TGS Global Ranked 18th Largest International Network Accountancy Age World Survey 2014.
10 July 2014
Just 2.5 years after its formation, TGS Global has been ranked as the 18th largest global accountancy network in the 2014 Accountancy Age survey of the top 20 international networks.TGS Global was created to challenge the existing status quo in the global accounting market, and currently has members in 48 locations across 30 countries around the globe. James Frost, CEO, says “Achieving this ranking after such a short time, is certainly positive and it demonstrates the resonance that our model of international networking has in the market.” The TGS Global network is made up of dynamic, progressive accountancy firms. Every member of TGS shares the same values of entrepreneu...
China and Hong Kong Taxation Royalties on Intellectual Properties - new China Trade Mark Laws
26 June 2014
The China New Trade Mark Laws became effective on 1 May 2014, significant changes include making available of sound mark applications; strengthened well-known mark protection; increased statutory damage and fines against infringement, shortened trademark prosecution times, & etc. Companies nowadays are equipped with marketing innovation; business protection relies on proper intellectual properties laws and regulations. It is common for business to take a closer look into the protection and enforcement of their valuable intellectual property rights in Asia. There are both contentious and non-contentious intellectual property related matters such as handling worldwide trademark po...
France Rescinds IHT Treaty With Switzerland
23 June 2014
France has announced its decision to rescind the 1953 inheritance tax (IHT) agreement with Switzerland with effect from December 31, 2014. From January 1, 2015, domestic inheritance tax rules will apply in the absence of a treaty, removing a degree of certainty that the treaty provided concerning the taxing rights of the two territories, and in particular provisions that sought to avoid double taxation. Provisions governing the taxation of persons with dual residence will cease to apply, and a provision providing for arbitration in the case of a dispute will no longer have force. The Swiss Federal Council said it regrets France's decision to terminate the deal, insisting that an 'imperfec...
UK Publicizes VAT Mini One-Stop Shop Offering
13 June 2014
HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has said digital services suppliers can register from October 2014 to use its Mini One Stop shop (MOSS) portal, to ease the administration burden associated with complying with changes to EU place of supply rules concerning these services from 2015. In a statement on June 9, 2014, HMRC said businesses supplying digital services to European Union (EU) customers can register to use the service when it becomes operational in January 2015. It is being set up in response to changes to EU rules that will see these services made taxable at the place where the consumer belongs (unless the rule on effective use and employment applies), even if the customer is a non...
FASB, IASB Issue New Revenue Recognition Rules
30 May 2014
The International Accounting Standards Board (IASB), responsible for International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), and the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB), responsible for United States Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (US GAAP), have issued a converged standard on the recognition of revenue from contracts with customers. Revenue is seen to be very important for users assessing a company's financial performance and prospects, and it is intended that the new standard will improve both the financial reporting of revenue and also the comparability of the top line in financial statements globally. It has been pointed out that the previous requirements of both IFRS an...
France Confirms Personal Income Tax Cut Plans
23 May 2014
Over three million low income households will benefit from a EUR1bn (USD1.37bn) cut to personal income tax this year, French Prime Minister Manuel Valls announced recently. The Government will trim 2014 tax bills for low-income pensioners and employees paying tax on their 2013 income, he said. Meanwhile, 1.8 million workers will be moved out of the income tax scale. For example, a minimum wage earner, and a couple with two children and a combined gross monthly salary of EUR3,600, will be exempt from tax in 2014, while pensioners receiving monthly pensions of EUR1,200 will pay tax of EUR300 annually, instead of EUR1,000. The tax relief will increase workers' purchasing power after five ...
China To Improve Export Tax Rebates
16 May 2014
In a statement on its website on May 15, China's State Council announced a package of enhancements to bolster its flagging foreign trade sector, including improvements to the country's export tax rebate system. With total imports and exports stagnating so far this year, despite total trade having been budgeted to rise by an overall rate of some 7.5 percent over the whole of 2014, the State Council, in its statement, expanded on a number of policies 'to support the stable growth of foreign trade' in a sector which has a key role in the Chinese economy, particularly in the provision of employment. The package included such measures as promoting the use of the renminbi and currency hedges ...
Hong Kong Commits To Low-Tax Policies
9 May 2014
Hong Kong's Financial Secretary, John C Tsang, has said authorities will restrict the territory's spending to 20 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) to ensure that the territory can maintain balanced budgets and a low-tax regime. Government revenue in Hong Kong was on average 18.6 percent of nominal GDP between 1997-98 and 2012-13, with the trough at 13.3 percent and the peak at 22.6 percent, but Tsang told business leaders that the recent report of the Working Group on Long-Term Fiscal Planning, set up in June 2013 to look at the state of Hong Kong's public finances, had suggested that a future structural fiscal gap will require the Government to find additional tax revenue. Ho...
TGS Global Appoints New Member Firm in Hungary
24 March 2014
TGS Global is delighted to announce the addition of Audit Network Hungary to the TGS Network. Headquartered in Budapest, Audit Network Hungary was formed in 2003 and offers services in tax, auditing, bookkeeping, legal consulting and payroll accounting. They also provide auditing for Hungarian subsidiaries of foreign companies and have a strong expertise in working with companies parented in Germany and Austria in particular. James Frost, CEO of TGS Global comments “Audit Network Hungary is a dynamic group which shares the drive and entrepreneurial spirit that is at the core of every firm in the TGS Network. Their appointment further strengthens the presence of the TGS Network in Ce...
Hong Kong Tax Budget 2014/15 Maintaining Hong Kong as an attractive tax jurisdiction for business in Asia
18 March 2014
Financial Secretary John Tsang delivered his second budget speech on 26 February 2014. ECONOMIC PERFORMANCE The revised forecast predicts a HK$12 billion surplus for the year 2013/14, well ahead of the forecast deficit of HK$4.9 billion. Land sales, stamp duty and profits tax remain the major sources of revenue. A modest improvement in the economy is forecast with GDP growth of 3 to 4 percent for 2014. The 2014 headline inflation rate is estimated at 4.6 percent. FINANCIAL SERVICES The government has announced a wide range of proposal to promote the finance sector, including:- Proposes to issue inflation-link bond worth up to HK$10 billion with maturity of three years. Proposes to...
TGS Global expands into USA
4 March 2014
As of 1st March 2014, TGS Global appointed Gettry Marcus as it’s first member in the United States. Beginning in 2012 TGS Global, the international network of dynamic CPA firms, currently has representation in 48 locations in 28 countries. Gettry Marcus has offices in New York City and Long Island providing accounting, tax, and consulting services to commercial businesses and high net worth individuals. They offer expert groups with specialist knowledge in the Real Estate and Health Care sectors amongst others. Gettry Marcus is one of the premier Business Valuation and Litigation Groups in the New York Area. James Frost, CEO of TGS Global comments; “Gettry Marcus is clearly an...
Egypt Eyes New Fiscal Stimulus Package
10 February 2014
Determined to reassure investors and to restore confidence, Egyptian Finance Minister Ahmed Galal has announced that the Government aims to unveil details of a new fiscal stimulus package shortly. The Government adopted its first stimulus package in the second half of 2013. Without providing further information, Finance Minister Galal revealed that the new wave of fiscal measures would boost public investment and would finance the introduction of a public sector minimum wage, without increasing the budget deficit. The Egyptian Government aims to reduce the budget deficit from 14 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) recorded in June last year, to around 10 percent of GDP by Jun...
Italy's Transfer Pricing Changes In 2014
7 February 2014
Through its Finance Act 2014 (Law No 147/2013), Italy has introduced a number of transfer pricing-related changes. This should affect both procedures and fundamental concepts. Article 1, Paragraph 281 clarifies that transfer pricing adjustments have a bearing on regional corporation taxes (IRAP). This 'clarification' has been given retroactive effect for every financial year beginning on January 1, 2008 or later. However, Paragraphs 282 and 283 specify that penalties should not be due on the additional amount of IRAP due for tax years ending on December 31, 2012 or earlier. Special rules apply for taxpayers whose financial year does not match the calendar year. The transfer pricing pen...
French Customs' Strategy Aims To Modernize Tax System
27 January 2014
In its 2018 Strategy, the French General Directorate of Customs and Excise (DGDDI) pledges to further modernize the tax system, to better secure the collection of revenue, while at the same time reducing intervention costs. The DGDDI underlined its intention to continue centralizing the management of taxes at regional, interregional, and national level, making clear that the changes will affect all taxes, from transport, energy, and environmental levies, to indirect contributions. In its publication, the DGDDI alluded to the improvements that have already been implemented by the department over the course of the last few years. Procedures have been simplified, and facilities introdu...
TGS Global Appoints New Member Firm in China
21 January 2014
Shandong Haoxin CPAs is headquartered in Weifang, in Shandong province in east China. As a fast growing accounting firm, they provide services besides the traditional audit and tax planning. They have developed a significant offering in services such as internal audit support, asset appraisal, project management and focus on clients both domestically and overseas for IPO consulting, internal control consulting, M&A and restructuring work. They currently operate in 3 offices and have 7 partners and 110 staff. James Frost, CEO of TGS Global commented “ I am delighted with the appointment of Shandong Haoxin CPAs to the tgs network, the firm shares our entreprene...
China Simplifies Export Tax Exemption For e-Commerce
20 January 2014
China's State Administration of Taxation and the Ministry of Finance have issued a joint circular that specifies the simplified conditions under which, from January 1, 2014, e-commerce exporters can receive an export tax exemption or refund. For example, to benefit from the tax break, businesses need to have been granted the exemption by the relevant tax authority, and to be general value added tax payers. The e-commerce exporter will need to have obtained an export declaration form, but only for export tax exemption purposes. It is hoped that the new regulations will encourage a further increase in China's cross-border e-commerce. Currently, with e-commerce often involving large qu...
Hong Kong Stamp Duty Hikes Cut Property Sales
13 January 2014
The increased cost of property transactions in Hong Kong, after the hike in stamp duties introduced by the Government early last year, appears to have succeeded in cooling the real estate market by significantly reducing the number of property purchases. The number of sale and purchase agreements for all building units received for registration for 2013 was 70,503, down by 39 percent compared with 2012 and by 35.2 percent compared with 2011. The total consideration for these agreements for 2013 was almost HKD456.3bn (USD58.9bn), a reduction of 30.2 percent compared with 2012 and 22.4 percent compared with 2011. While Hong Kong's property prices are still reported to have grown in 20...
Consumers Hit By Tax Increases In Turkey
6 January 2014
The Government of Turkey has increased the amount of Special Consumption Tax imposed on passenger cars, tobacco and alcohol, as well as the Special Communications Tax on mobile phones. The hikes were announced in the country's Official Gazette. The minimum tax on a packet of cigarettes has increased from TYR3.22 (USD1.5) to TYR3.75 (USD1.72), while the tax imposed on most alcoholic drinks has been increased by 10 percent. However, beer is subject to a 15 percent rise. The tax on cars is banded according to engine cylinder capacity. The tax rate in the lowest band will be raised by 5 percentage points, up to 45 percent, while the highest-performing cars will see an increase of 15 per...
Luxembourg Outlines Details Of Future Tax Reform
16 December 2013
Luxembourg's new Prime Minister Xavier Bettel has presented a Government Declaration to the country's Chamber of Deputies, outlining details of plans to reform taxation in the Grand Duchy. The aim of the envisaged tax reform is to ensure social justice, to boost growth and to create jobs in Luxembourg, while at the same time generating additional revenues for the state, and ensuring that Luxembourg is not placed on any foreign 'grey or black lists' of jurisdictions deemed uncooperative in tax matters. As part of the reform, the Government plans to set up a consultative tax committee, tasked with advising Finance Minister Pierre Gramegna on national and international tax issues, to i...
Switzerland Agrees Next Steps For Tax Compliance
9 December 2013
The Swiss Federal Council has approved the next steps for enhanced due diligence requirements, to prevent the acceptance of untaxed assets in the Confederation. According to the Swiss Federal Department of Finance (FDF), the Swiss Federal Council has resolved that banks and other financial intermediaries in Switzerland will have to comply with enhanced due diligence requirements when accepting assets, in order to prevent the inflow of untaxed assets. Based on this resolution, 'the new requirements are to be discussed in coordination with the conclusion of possible agreements on the automatic exchange of information between Switzerland and its main partner countries,' the FDF explain...
Cyprus Holding Companies
5 December 2013
The setting up of holding companies within the most appropriate structures becomes nowadays an important consideration for all investors who wish to maximize their after tax return on investments. The global markets are becoming more demanding and the need for choosing the best structures that provide to investors the most tax effective means of consolidating their ownership in different enterprises becomes more imperative. Consequently, the location of holding companies represents an important consideration in any international structure and the investors should consider a number of factors before they finally decide on each holding company jurisdiction in order to achieve optimization o...
Spain's Tax Reform To Benefit Entrepreneurs, Rajoy Insists
2 December 2013
Spain's Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has emphasized that the Government's envisaged fiscal reform 'must be fundamentally aimed at helping entrepreneurs' in Spain, including a Personal Income Tax reduction in 2015. In an interview on RNE radio, Prime Minister Rajoy insisted that the Government is laying the foundations for economic growth and job creation. Alluding to the fact that some positive results are already starting to be seen, and making clear that more will be seen next year, in 2014, Rajoy reiterated that in 2015, Personal Income Tax will be lowered, and as regards value-added tax (VAT), 'it will not be touched for 2014,' and foreseeably not during 2015 either. Furthermore...
France Unveils Tax Breaks For Artisans And Traders
25 November 2013
Following a meeting with the professional union of artisans, French Budget Minister Bernard Cazeneuve and Trades Minister Sylvia Pinel unveiled a raft of fiscal measures aimed at providing tax relief to both artisans and tradespeople in France, as well as to home owners wishing to carry out energy efficiency improvements. In the communiqu̩, the Government clarified the conditions for application of a 5.5 percent reduced rate of value-added tax (VAT) for home energy efficiency improvements. This rate will apply to 'induced' or associated ancillary works undertaken. For other home improvement works carried out, a reduced rate of 7 percent will apply, provided that a signed quote and sig...
China To Use HKEx To Offer RMB Bonds To Retail Investors
18 November 2013
Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEx) has welcomed a decision by China's Ministry of Finance (MoF) to list renminbi (RMB)-denominated sovereign bonds again on its Stock Exchange, using, for the first time, the Exchange's facilities for a public offering of its bonds to retail investors. The Mainland's State Council previously granted approval for the MoF to issue a total of RMB23bn (USD3.8bn) of sovereign bonds in Hong Kong in 2013. The first batch, valued at RMB13bn, was issued on June 26 this year, and the MoF plans to issue the remainder, valued at RMB10bn, in late November. Among the RMB10bn of sovereign bonds to be issued this time, RMB3bn with a two-year maturity wil...
UK Government Confirms Tax Devolution For Wales
11 November 2013
UK Prime Minister David Cameron has confirmed that the Government intends to devolve the power to set Landfill Tax and Stamp Duty rates in Wales, and to hold a referendum on devolving the income tax rate. Cameron made the announcement during a press conference at the Senedd, the National Assembly for Wales. Under the moves, ministers in Wales will also be able to borrow funds, and Cameron observed that Wales would now be able to undertake projects such as upgrading motorway links and building 'much needed' affordable homes. However, Wales' First Minister Carwyn Jones subsequently told the BBC it was 'not yet' the time to trigger an income tax referendum. He explained that there is a...
Hong Kong Revenue Defends Salaries Tax Collection System
4 November 2013
In her reply to a question in the Legislative Council (LegCo), the Acting Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury Julia Leung confirmed that, as salaries tax payment arrangements in Hong Kong are 'effective and easy to administer to all relevant parties,' the Government has no plan to explore other payment options. Hong Kong does not have a 'Pay As You Earn' (PAYE) system, whereby income tax is withheld and paid at the time the remuneration is received. The Inland Revenue Department (IRD) makes tax assessments and issues tax demand notes to taxpayers after taxpayers have reported their income. As such, the amount of final tax payable is only determined after taxpayers have ea...
Germany's Rising Revenues Confirm Correct Tax Course
28 October 2013
Following an unexpected dip in revenues reported in August, the German Finance Ministry has once again posted significant revenue growth in September 2013, evidence that Germany is on the right fiscal track and that the course should not be changed. According to the German Finance Ministry, revenues were up EUR54.7bn (USD74.8bn) or 7.8 percent in September 2013, compared to September 2012. The recorded rise is predominantly attributable to an increase in income from wage tax (6.1 percent), from assessed income tax (9.2 percent), and from corporation tax (93.6 percent). In contrast, revenue derived from value-added tax (VAT) showed sluggish and disappointing on-year growth of just 0....
Business Development in China: An Overview of Chinese Tax Systems
23 October 2013
Understanding the Chinese tax system is a delicate mix between industry knowledge, national and local procedure, relationship management and cultural understanding. In Paris on 19th of September 2013 a seminar hosted by TGS Soregor, TGS Hong Kong and France Business School addressed the key areas of the newly revamped Chinese Tax System. To give Business owners and International Tax Consultants a better understanding of the new Chinese tax focus. Eddy Yeung, Director and Head of Tax for China and Hong Kong at TGS Hong Kong, likes to start each seminar with a lesson in language and geography to help highlight cultural differences, the vast size of China and the key...
Portugal Unveils Tax-Lite 2014 Budget
21 October 2013
Portugal's Finance Minister Maria Luis Albuquerque has unveiled details of the country's 2014 State Budget (OE 2014) providing to redress the public finances to the tune of around EUR3.9bn (USD5.3bn), to be achieved via a dramatic cut in expenditure rather than via massive tax increases, in contrast to the previous budget. Within the framework of the OE 2014, the Government intends to maintain the extraordinary solidarity contribution, to increase car and diesel tax, as well as to raise taxes on alcohol and tobacco. Furthermore, the energy and banking sector will see their contributions increase, and real estate funds will be taxed. The Government also plans to reduce corporate inco...
Malta Seeks To Broaden Financial Services Sector
14 October 2013
Malta's finance minister, Edward Scicluna, has said that the country is seeking to broaden its financial sector. 'Malta is constantly on the lookout for new opportunities to increase the breadth and depth of its financial services infrastructure, not least its securities markets,' he said. Mr Scicluna noted that Malta has consistently ranked in the top 20 tier of the World Economic Forum Competitiveness Index in terms of the regulation of securities exchanges. At the same time, the country constantly reviews its legislation to allow for the growth of specialized markets and to attract more companies and instruments to the market. 'The Malta Financial Services has also recently re...
The Cyprus Royalty Regime
10 October 2013
In May 2012, Cyprus introduced changes in Income Tax law which constitutes Cyprus as the ultimate royalty jurisdiction, enabling it to compete successfully with other established jurisdictions. The main features of the Cyprus IP box are outlined below: IP Box benefits The amendment to the Income Tax Law is effective from January 1st 2012 and
Spain's Regions Reminded Of Tax Cut Implications
30 September 2013
The Spanish Finance Ministry has stressed that local authority tax cuts are only to be implemented if the envisaged fiscal measures are compatible with the budgetary stability objectives. The Finance Ministry explained that for the duration of the country's adjustment plan, a local authority may only agree to a reduction in taxes and charges, and to a corresponding reduction in income, provided that the action is offset by an equivalent measure. This may include plans to introduce a corresponding cut in expenditure or may occur when tax revenues have exceeded the forecast figure provided for in the adjustment plan. Furthermore, the Ministry emphasized that the Government is monitori...
EU Study Demonstrates Urgent Need For VAT Rethink
23 September 2013
The European Commission has published a new report on the VAT Gap across 26 member states in 2011, revealing that 18 percent of member states' theoretical value-added tax-take goes uncollected owing to fraud and evasion, legal tax avoidance, bankruptcies, financial insolvencies, miscalculations and the poor performance of tax administrations. The study, funded by the Commission, has been released to back up its efforts to win support for a substantial reform of the VAT system in Europe, as well as its wider campaign to clamp down on tax evasion. The VAT Gap is defined as the difference between the amount of VAT that could theoretically be collected, and the actual VAT collected by m...
Canadian PM Spells Out Issues With EU Trade Talks
16 September 2013
There remain 'very significant gaps' in the trade talks between Canada and the European Union, Stephen Harper has revealed. Commenting on the ongoing negotiations, the Canadian Prime Minister said that although he wants to see a deal completed, it must be done 'in a way that, in our opinion, and the opinion of all the provinces, which are our partners in this, serve the broader interests of Canadians and the Canadian economy.' Unfortunately, 'we are not there as of now,' Harper added. A joint study, carried out before the talks began, concluded that an 'ambitious' agreement could boost the Canadian economy to the tune of CAD12bn (USD1.93bn) a year, and increase bilateral trade by 20...
Switzerland Adopts Draft Law On French Inheritance Tax Deal
11 September 2013
The Swiss Federal Council has sent a draft law on the new inheritance tax agreement with France for the attention of parliament. The agreement is designed to prevent a legal vacuum, detrimental to taxpayers, and constitutes a first concrete step in the tax dialogue with France. On July 11, 2013, during a meeting in Paris, Swiss Federal Councillor Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf and French Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici decided to engage in a dialogue on outstanding bilateral tax and financial issues. Furthermore, they signed the new double taxation agreement (DTA) in the area of inheritance. The draft treaty largely follows the principles of the OECD and Switzerland's agreement policy in bo...
US and Canada Consult On Regulatory Cooperation
9 September 2013
The Canadian and US Governments 'are working together to increase trade and prosperity,' Ed Fast has said. Fast, Canada's International Trade Minister, has announced that the two Governments are seeking public comment on future regulatory cooperation. According to Fast: 'Finding new ways to align our regulatory systems will lead to more jobs, growth and prosperity in both countries.' Bilateral trade totaled CAD742.5bn (USD70.4bn) in 2012. More than CAD2bn worth of goods and services crossed the border every day. A Regulatory Cooperation Council (RCC) was set up in February 2011, charged with better aligning Canadian and US regulatory systems to the benefit of producers, manufactu...
New Dutch Ruling and Tax Treaty Policy
4 September 2013
After internal as well external critics, on Friday 30 August 2013 a new policy was announced with respect to international taxation. Although it is announced as measures
German Tax Revenues Rise
2 September 2013
German tax revenues for the first seven months of the year were up 1.5 percent on the same period in 2012. The Federal Finance Ministry's latest Monthly Report shows that EUR156.3bn (USD208.5bn) was generated in revenue from January-July. Tax receipts totaled EUR141.6bn, up EUR0.8bn (0.6 percent) on 2012. In July, tax revenue (excluding local authority taxes) increased by 1.9 percent on the year. Revenue from joint taxes posted what the Ministry has described as a 'moderate' year-on-year rise of 1 percent, but taxes accruing solely to the German Federation were up 3.4 percent. Those accruing to the Lander rose by 21.1 percent. However, once transfers to the European Union (EU) bu...
Cyprus Government Plans To Amend Property Tax
28 August 2013
The Government of Cyprus has announced plans to amend the country's Immovable Property Tax, exempting the lowest-valued properties but also scrapping a EUR75 minimum payment. Property tax in Cyprus is currently based on valuations made in 1980, although the amount payable by a taxpayer is determined by their total property value taken together. If the Government
Hong Kong's Stamp Duty Hikes Were 'Essential'
26 August 2013
The Government has confirmed that the increased cost of property transactions in Hong Kong, since the introduction of the Special Stamp Duty in November 2010 and the Buyer's Stamp Duty in October 2012, and the further measures taken in February this year, has succeeded in cooling the real estate market. A Government statement has disclosed that both speculative activities and purchases of residential properties by non-local individuals and non-local companies have diminished and stayed subdued, and the property market has cooled off, since the announcement of the latest round of demand-side management measures. With effect from February 23, 2013, the Government announced an increase...
France Ponders Scale Of Social Contribution Rise
19 August 2013
The French Government is reportedly considering plans to increase the country's general social contribution
Morocco Confirms Large Farms To Lose Tax Exemption
14 August 2013
During the speech by King Mohammed VI on the occasion of the Throne Day, marking this year the 14th anniversary of his enthronement, he confirmed that large-scale farmers would lose their tax exemptions this year, as part of the ongoing revenue-raising effort in Morocco. He noted that the 'Morocco Green Plan' has been adopted to modernize the farming sector, and particular attention has been devoted to smallholders with a view to improving their living conditions. The adoption of an advanced agriculture strategy reflected his firm belief in the importance of the sector. As part of his 'concern for the well-being of (smallholders),' he announced that 'they will continue to benefit fr...
China Introduces VAT On Transportation Charges
12 August 2013
As part of China's roll out of value-added tax, which entered its second stage on August 1, 2013, freight charges payable in China are now subject to a 6 percent value-added tax rate. The change, outlined in Cai Shui  No. 37 (Circular 37/2013) issued by the Chinese Ministry of Finance, provides for the implementation of VAT, replacing the business tax, on a nationwide basis. The circular repeals the initial VAT policies introduced in January 1, 2012, when the VAT pilot was first introduced in Shanghai. The pilot was later expanded to cover 9 other areas but has now been expanded nationwide, and into the modern services sector, covering digital services such as film and televis...
UK Introduces VAT On Business Research Services
5 August 2013
HM Revenue and Custom (HMRC) has released VAT information sheet 11/13, concerning transitional arrangements that will apply following the withdrawal of the VAT exemption for business research services between eligible bodies on August 1, 2013. The UK is removing the exemption following a notification from the European Commission that the exemption for business supplies of research contravenes EU law. The withdrawal from August 1, 2013, will impact all written contracts entered into on or after that date. For supplies of business research where the written contract was entered into before 1 August 2013, whether or not work has already commenced, the exemption will continue to apply t...
Singapore Consults On Property Tax Amendments
31 July 2013
Singapore's Ministry of Finance is seeking public feedback on proposed legislative amendments under a draft Property Tax (Amendment) Bill 2013, which would give effect to policies announced in the 2013 Budget. The tax changes announced by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, Tharman Shanmugaratnam, in his 2013 Budget Statement included the removal of property tax refunds for unoccupied residential and non-residential properties with effect from 1 January 2014, so as, it was said, to align with the policy intent of property tax, which is to tax property wealth rather than use, and ensure consistency in the tax treatment of all vacant properties. Under the draft bill, any c...
German Wage Tax Take Buoys 2013 Revenues
29 July 2013
The German Finance Ministry has provided an update on tax revenue figures in Germany for the first half of 2013, once again highlighting extremely positive wage and corporation tax collections. Federal Government and state tax revenues rose again in the first six months of 2013, up 3.5 percent compared to the same period last year. Alongside the May tax estimate, fiscal experts anticipated that revenues will rise by 2.5 percent for the whole of the year, compared to 2012. Latest figures reveal that income from both wage taxes and profit-related taxes have increased significantly so far this year, demonstrating that the poor economic climate has hardly affected corporate profits. ...
EU Interested In Free LatAm Trade
22 July 2013
Council of the European Union President Dalia Grybauskaite has met with members of the Executive Bureau of the Euro-Latin American Parliamentary Assembly (EuroLat) to discuss an EU-Latin American strategic partnership, economic cooperation, development cooperation, environmental issues, climate change, and international migration. The meetings of the standing parliamentary committees started on July 16 in Vilnius with 150 members of the European Parliament and Latin-American parliamentarians taking part. Grybauskaite underlined that the European Union was interested in promoting open and free trade with the Latin American region, which is one of the fastest growing economies in the ...
Belgium Boosts International Tax Agreement Tally
15 July 2013
The Belgian Council of Ministers has approved for ratification the protocol amending the bilateral double taxation agreement (DTA) between Belgium and Japan in the area of taxes on income. The Council of Ministers has also waved through for ratification multiple tax information exchange agreements (TIEAs). Signed in Brussels on January 26, 2010, the protocol updates the initial DTA with Japan signed on March 28, 1968, ensuring that the accord conforms to the internationally accepted standard. The modification facilitates the exchange of banking information between the two countries, thereby strengthening bilateral cooperation. The protocol is due to be submitted to the Federal parli...
India Announces More SEZ Tax Reliefs
8 July 2013
The Indian Government is to exempt from service tax a number of services received by units located in a Special Economic Zone (SEZ). The exemption will take the form of a refund of service tax already paid on the specified services received by an SEZ Unit or an SEZ Developer. An Approval Committee will have to provide a list of services required for any authorized operations, while the Unit or Developer will need to complete relevant declaration forms and retain receipts related to the services received. A refund claim must be filed within one year from the end of the month in which the original service tax payment was made. Only one refund claim can be made in each quarter. An S...
Taiwan Approves CGT Amendment
1 July 2013
Despite a row in the Taiwanese parliament, an income tax code amendment to dilute the existing capital gains tax (CGT) on share trading, which has been accused of dampening trading on Taiwan's stock exchange and sharply reducing share prices, has finally been passed. CGT only began to be implemented at the beginning of this year, as the Government sought to enlarge its tax base and find additional tax revenues. It required all investors to pay a transactions tax of between 0.02 percent and 0.06 percent when selling stock if Taiwan's stock exchange index (TAIEX) stock index rose above 8,500 in 2013 and 2014. While the index has actually stayed below the 8,500 level since the CGT was ...
Vietnamese Parliament Approves Corporate Tax Rate Cuts
24 June 2013
By an overwhelming majority, the National Assembly has approved reductions in Vietnam's corporate tax rates from January 1, 2014. The Government has come under pressure to cut corporate taxes to help businesses, particularly small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), in the current economic uncertainty, and to incentivize more investment in the economy. The current 25 percent tax rate also compares unfavorably with Vietnam's competitors, as, for example, Thailand's rate was reduced in 2011 to 23 percent, and being cut further to 20 percent this year, while many other Asian countries already apply lower rates. Improving on the Ministry of Finance's previous proposal to reduce Viet...
Portuguese Parliament Waves Through Budget Amendment
17 June 2013
Portugal's National Assembly has adopted the Government's proposed amendment to the 2013 State Budget, containing a raft of initiatives, designed to enable the country to meet its fiscal objectives as defined in the Budget Strategy Document. While failing to provide specific details of its proposed savings plan, the Government nevertheless insisted that most of the initiatives are intended to reduce structural spending, rather than to raise taxes in Portugal. The package reportedly includes plans to extend working times for officials from 35 to 40 hours a week, to cut around 30,000 public sector jobs in Portugal, and to increase the general retirement age from 65 currently to 66. Th...
TGS Global Appoints a New Switzerland Member Firm
11 June 2013
TGS Global is delighted to announce the appointment of the Swiss firm Barinvest.
Israeli VAT Hiked To 18 Percent
10 June 2013
Israel's value-added tax rate was hiked to 18 percent from 17 percent on June 2, 2013, after approval from the nation's parliament, the Knesset on May 29, 2013. This is the third time in Israel's history that the nation has levied an 18 percent rate, mirroring decisions taken in 1991 and 2002, to assist in fiscal consolidation efforts.
TGS Global Announces The Joining of KSi in Malta to The Network
7 June 2013
TGS Global has recruited KSi in Malta as part of its network and to increase its visibility and presence in Mediterranean countries. Joseph Gauci, Managing Partner, felt that joining TGS Global was an important part of their firms
TGS Global Appoints New Member Firm in Taiwan
6 June 2013
Taiwan is a key strategic economy in Asia and it is important to have a strong, internationally minded representative in the country. TGS Global is delighted that D&C CPAs and Associates decided to join the network and very much look forward to working with them as TGS Global continues to build its presence in Asia. D&C CPAs and Associates is a holistic firm that operates from Taiwan
TGS Global Welcomes New Member Firm in Germany
5 June 2013
Over the last month TGS Global has broaden its presence from 18 countries and 41 offices to 22 countries and 48 offices. The network
Singapore Plugs Tax-Filing Benefits For SMEs
3 June 2013
The Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) has encouraged small and medium-sized companies (SMEs) to use the simplified tax return, Form C-S, to e-file their income with effect from the 2013 assessment year, and enjoy further benefits. All companies normally have to file an estimate of their chargeable income within three months after the end of their accounting period on Form C. However, with the simplified and shortened 3-page Form C-S, which was first available for the 2012 assessment year, there is no requirement to submit financial accounts, tax computation and supporting schedules with the tax return. The documents must be prepared, but only sent to IRAS if requested. Fo...
TGS Global's Member Firm Studio Holzmiller & Partners to Open Its Second Office in Rome
31 May 2013
On 1st of June Studio Holzmiller & Partners will be opening an office in the centre of Rome. Enrico Holzmiller, Senior Partner of the firm mentions,
Belgium's 'Biztax' Opens For 2013 Corporate Filing
27 May 2013
The Belgian Finance Ministry has announced that businesses are now able to file their 2013 corporate tax returns online, via the 'Biztax' application. The Biztax application may be used for the electronic filing of corporate income tax returns (ISoc), applicable to Belgian companies, as well as for the electronic filing of income tax on legal entities (IPM) statements, applicable to Belgian legal entities other than companies, including non-profit organizations and foundations. Biztax can also be used to file income tax on non-resident company (INR/soc) returns online, applicable to non-resident legal persons. In the case of online returns, the paper deadline for filing is extended ...
Germany's CSU Eyes Middle Class Tax Cuts
20 May 2013
In the run up to German elections, the Christian Social Union (CSU) has underlined the need to introduce tax relief for hard-working employees in Germany and to allow the federal states greater fiscal autonomy in the future, to foster tax competition. In an interview with Focus, Bavaria's Finance Minister Markus Șder (CSU) emphasized the importance of alleviating the effects of fiscal drift in the income tax system, to provide moderate tax relief to employees and to ensure that workers have more net income at the end of the month. Șder also advocated that wage and income tax be regionalized, to allow individual federal states to determine their own surcharges and tax deductions. Su...
South Korea To Provide Tax Incentives For Start-Ups
13 May 2013
South Korea's Minister of Strategy and Finance Hyun Oh-seok has promised that the Government will introduce a range of measures, including tax incentives, to encourage and help the start-up businesses that, it is hoped, will provide good jobs and be an engine for future growth in the economy. While the Government had first felt it necessary, given the current uncertainty in the South Korean economy, to take measures to boost the property market and to gain parliamentary approval for a supplementary budget, it is now necessary, he said, to establish measures to create an 'ecosystem for venture capital investments, which can lead to active start-ups and more risk-taking businesses.' T...
Proposal To Limit US Tax Deductions Resurfaces
6 May 2013
The resurfacing, in a recent newspaper article, of a proposal by Harvard economics professor Martin Feldstein to limit itemized deductions at 2% of an individual taxpayer's income, so as to reduce the United States fiscal deficit, would slow economic growth, according to a new analysis by the Tax Foundation (TF). In his op-ed in the Washington Post, Feldstein wrote that, in order to break the budgetary political impasse and replace the current spending 'sequester,' he favored 'a cap of 2% of adjusted gross income (AGI) on the tax benefit that an individual receives from deductions and from the exclusion of municipal bond interest and of the value of employer payments for health insuran...
Portugal To Lower Corporate Tax
29 April 2013
The Portuguese Government has recently unveiled details of its growth, employment, and industrial development strategy, which includes plans to reform corporation tax. Portugal's Economy and Employment Minister Alvaro Santos Pereira revealed that the Government's growth strategy is based on seven key axes, notably training and qualifications, financing, corporate consolidation, the promotion of investment and fiscal competitiveness, internationalization, entrepreneurship and innovation, and logistics infrastructure. Pereira said that to promote investment and to increase fiscal competitiveness, the Government plans to reform and to lower corporation tax (IRC), to make the country mo...
Dubai Consults On New Tax Legislation
22 April 2013
The regulator of the Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC) has launched a public consultation on a number of legislative amendments, including to bring the tax-free zone's regulatory regime in line with international tax transparency standards. The DIFC Authority has proposed to amend a number of DIFC laws and regulations through the DIFC Laws Amendment Law, DIFC Law No. 1 of 2013, in order to comply with the requirements set out by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development's Global Forum on Transparency and the Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes, as well as amendments to the Arbitration Law, DIFC Law No.1 of 2008, to align it with the New York Convention. ...
Swiss Government Endorses US FATCA Deal
15 April 2013
At its meeting on April 10, 2013, the Swiss Federal Council approved the agreement concluded with the United States to facilitate compliance with its Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), and forwarded the agreement to parliament for its approval. The Swiss Government, commenting on its decision to endorse the agreement, said that while the United States' extraterritorial legislation had not been well received, it was nevertheless acknowledged that it was favorable to sign an Intergovernmental Agreement with the United States to simplify compliance with the new regime for Swiss financial institutions. FATCA requires foreign financial institutions to register with US tax author...
Taiwan, US To Negotiate FATCA Agreement
8 April 2013
On April 2, 2013, the Taiwanese Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) and Ministry of Finance (MOF) jointly announced that both agencies and the United States Treasury Department had reached a consensus to pursue an intergovernmental agreement (IGA) to facilitate the implementation of the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA). FATCA was enacted by the US Congress in March 2010 and is intended to ensure that the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) obtains information on financial accounts held abroad by US taxpayers with foreign financial institutions (FFIs). Failure by an FFI to sign an agreement with the IRS and disclose information would result in a requirement, from next year, t...
Heather Townsend, Excedia - The How, The What And The Why Of Engaging In Social Media From A Business Manager Perspective
4 April 2013
Heather Townsend, co-author of 'How to make partner and still have a life and member of the Accountant
Austrian Lawmakers Back Tax Deals With Liechtenstein
1 April 2013
Austria's National Council has recently adopted a withholding tax agreement with Liechtenstein modeled on the accord between Austria and Switzerland, which entered into force on January 1, providing for the taxation of the hitherto undeclared and untaxed assets of Austrian residents held in Liechtenstein banks. Liechtenstein banks and asset managers, such as trustees, will levy a withholding tax on past assets and will tax future investment income, payments to non-transparent foundations and payments from non-transparent foundations to beneficiaries. As a general rule, the value of assets as of December 31, 2011, and December 31, 2013, is taken as the basis for calculating the amount o...
Dinos Antoniou Senior Partner - An Excellent Relationship With Other Members Of The Network Is Vital
28 March 2013
Marios Efthymiou, Senior Partner of Dinos Antoniou, stresses that offering successful international solutions, such as international tax planning, is the result of a good relationship within the members of the network. Efthymiou also adds 'TGS Global allows our firm and clients to grow more rapidly outside Cyprus boundaries'.
Switzerland Must Remain Competitive, SBA Survey Underlines
25 March 2013
In its latest survey, the Swiss Bankers Association (SBA) found that protecting financial privacy and addressing unresolved tax and market access issues remains vitally important for the Swiss population as a whole. According to the SBA, financial privacy remains a key concern for the Swiss, with 86% of those surveyed stating that the financial details of bank clients must be protected from third parties and 72% warning that the Swiss tradition must not be weakened. Although the majority of those questioned advocated that Switzerland must not yield to international pressure, 31% were in favor of concessions being made. 38% insisted that the Swiss Government is not doing enough to prote...
TGS Hong Kong Managing Director - International Business Just Been Made Easier
21 March 2013
Kenneth Young, Managing Director of TGS Hong Kong, discusses how easy is nowadays for business to go international thanks to technology advances. Young also adds 'The current international business environment is highly competitive, where local and national enterprises are competing with the same values'.
New Australian Tax Commissioner Outlines Stance
18 March 2013
Australia's new Tax Commissioner has said that he will direct his officers to make full use of the compliance 'toolkit' available to them to discourage inappropriate practices by multinational corporations. Addressing a Tax Institute convention, Chris Jordan outlined his priorities for steering the work of the Australian Tax Office (ATO). Speaking of his approach to the design of the tax system, Jordan said that part of his role is to ensure that businesses operate within the law. He stressed: 'I want businesses to clearly know, if they choose questionable or very aggressive practices there will be consequences,' adding that he does not regard it as legitimate for 'international busine...
TGS Lydia Managing Partner - The Future For Young Firms Is To Join The Right Network
14 March 2013
Murat Ersin, Managing Partner of TGS Lydia, explains the reasons his Turkish firm decided to join TGS Global 'Our young firm was looking to join a young and dynamic network and with TGS Global we found the right solution'. Ersin also adds 'Our clients not only look for international business, they also expect for you to provide with dynamic and unique answers'.
NZ, Mexico Commit To Stronger Trade Relationship
11 March 2013
The New Zealand Government has committed to stronger relations with its largest goods trading partner in Latin America, Mexico. A Statement of Intent was agreed to by representatives from both countries during a visit by the New Zealand Prime Minister John Key to Mexico. Commenting on the talks held with the new President, Enrique Pe̱a Nieto, Key said: 'President Pe̱a Nieto and I agreed the trade relationship between our two countries, while healthy, could be strengthened further.' According to Key, the Statement of Intent 'will provide the framework for the New Zealand Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment to work with the newly created Mexican National Entrepreneurs In...
TGS Nortex Partner - How To Position Your Firm As One-Stop Service For Your Clients
7 March 2013
Philip Chen, Partner of TGS Nortex, explains the reasons why his company needed to join TGS Global. 'Being part of a global network is not only a platform to provide extended services to our clients, it also gives us the opportunity to realize of our own value as professionals in the business industry'.
New Cyprus President Sceptical On Financial Transactions Tax
4 March 2013
The new President of Cyprus, Nicos Anastasiades, has expressed scepticism about EU plans for a Financial Transactions Tax, taking the view that new taxes and constant tax increases will only worsen the current recession. Speaking in an interview with German newspaper Bild, Anastasiades also reiterated a complaint made by other Cypriot politicians, that the island has been unfairly associated with money-laundering. Anastasiades's perspective on the FTT is echoed by UK Prime Minister David Cameron, who is on record as dismissing the tax as 'simply madness.' However, eleven EU countries have so far expressed support for the tax, which European Union Commissioner for Taxation Algirdas
TGS Edisa Asesores - In A Contracting Spanish Market, Growth Can Be Found Through International Expansion
28 February 2013
Tomas Diez, Partner of TGS Edisa Asesores, examines the options Spanish companies have in the current business environment. 'More Spanish companies are looking internationally and through being part of TGS Global we can identify worldwide opportunities, whilst working in a proactive way'. Diez also adds 'Identifying the first priority when internationalizing your business is essential; although you have to act carefully and wisely when establishing business operations overseas'.
City Of London Seeks Stronger Partnership With Dubai
25 February 2013
The Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) is hosting a delegation from the City of London that arrived on February 19, 2013, to investigate greater financial services synergies between the two financial hubs, and boost trade and investment links. The group of high-level UK delegates is being led by the Lord Mayor of the City of London, Roger Gifford, who over two days will meet Jeff Singer, Chief Executive of the DIFC regulator, the DIFC Authority, as well as Chirag Shah, Head of Strategy and Corporate Planning in the DIFC. Gifford will also meet with policy makers from a number of banks and other institutions, including the Chairman of the Banking Association, Abdulaziz Abdulla ...
TGS Tan Teo Managing Director
21 February 2013
Paul Tan, Managing Director of TGS Tan Teo, discusses how essential is to have international operations for firms based in Singapore. Tan adds
Italian Tax Burden To Remain At Record Level
18 February 2013
While CGIA of Mestre (the Italian association of sole traders and small businesses) has calculated that this year
TGS Lime Tree Tax Advisor
14 February 2013
Jeroen van der Linden, Tax Advisor of TGS Lime Tree, discusses the positioning of a new international network in a world of cross-border relationships. 'In a current world of no borders, firms have to ally with other firms at an international level to offer their clients' effective cross-border solutions'.
Germany Posts Overall Positive Tax Take In 2012
11 February 2013
The German finance ministry has recently published details of the tax revenue of the federation and federal states (L
TGS 4Audyt's Head of Audit - Joining A Global Network Helps To Improve A Common Strategy For All Member Firms
7 February 2013
Katarzyna Fabis, Head of Audit of TGS 4Audyt, explains how important international development is for her firm: 'Many of our clients are businesses which own or intend to acquire companies abroad. For them, it is very important to have the confidence that their subsidiaries
TGS Global Is Delighted To Announce The Appointment Of Vermetten Accountancy To The Global Network
6 February 2013
James Frost CEO, TGS Global, 'I am delighted to welcome Vermetten Accountancy to TGS Global and very much look forward to working with them in the future. One of the major attractions in appointing Vermetten to TGS was their clear desire to challenge themselves to deliver more than the expected, this is very much inline with our goals at TGS, so the synergies were apparent right from our first meeting.' Martin Notte, Vermetten Accountancy adds 'The reason for joining TGS is that we want to give our clients an international perspective and meet up to the growing number of questions from them regarding international business. More and more clients see opportunities and already have conta...
Japan Includes Tax Reforms In 2013 Budget
4 February 2013
The first full-year budget for 2013/14 approved by the new Japanese Cabinet furthers Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's primary aim of stimulating the economy through public works spending, but also includes reforms to individual, corporate and investment taxation. The overall size of the budget is put at JPY92.6 trillion (USD1 trillion), to be mainly financed by the issuance of new government bonds in the amount of JPY42.85 trillion and by tax revenue estimated at JPY43.1bn. Much has been made of the fact that next year's tax revenue will be greater than bond issuance for the first time in four years, but it is also recognized that something will have to be done, sooner rather than later,...
TGS Taylorcocks' Managing Director - The Importance Of Shared Values And International Co-operation
1 February 2013
Ian Cocks, Managing Director of TGS Taylorcocks explains why his firm decided to co-found TGS Global and describes the importance to both clients and members of shared values and similar business ideologies.
31 January 2013
Marc Desjardins, Managing Partner of TGS Soregor, describes the reasons why Soregor co-founded TGS Global and speaks on the importance of values when forming a global network. Click on the caption button to activate subtitles French to English.
Why Start A Network?
29 January 2013
James Frost, CEO of TGS Global, explains the importance of TGS, the new proactive global network of business advisors for SME businesses around the world.
UK Targets Affluent Taxpayers
21 January 2013
HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has officially confirmed plans to recruit 100 extra inspectors to concentrate on the tax affairs of those classed as affluent. The move had previously been announced by Danny Alexander, Chief Secretary to the Treasury, in September. The new inspectors will be attached to HMRC's Affluent Compliance Team, which was set up in October 2011 with a view to raising an extra GBP586m (USD938m) by the end of 2015. According to HMRC, the team currently has 200 staff in six locations across the UK, and its remit will now be expanded from taxpayers with an annual income of more than GBP150,000 and wealth of between GBP2.5m and GBP20m, to include those with wealth rangi...
Cyprus Bailout Delayed To March
14 January 2013
Eurozone finance ministers are expected to agree to a rescue package for Cyprus at the beginning of March, following the presidential elections, instead of at the end of January as was initially intended. European Union Economic and Monetary Commissioner Olli Rehn told the European Policy Centre in Brussels on January 11 that eurozone ministers would reach a decision on Cyprus's bailout 'in due course.' However, Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker suggested on January 10 that talks between eurozone governments on the bailout terms will last well into February. Cypriot Finance Minister Vassos Shiarly confirmed at the end of last year that Cyprus is very close to reaching an...
Tunisian Lawmakers Pass 2013 Finance Law
7 January 2013
China Tops Global Patent Filings
31 December 2012
A recent World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) report has shown that, while the global economy continued to underperform, intellectual property (IP) filings worldwide kept growing strongly in 2011, with China
Netherlands To Support Tax Collection In Developing Countries
24 December 2012
In a pioneering move, Dutch Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation Lilianne Ploumen has recently announced plans to assist developing countries in the collection of taxes. The minister also plans to examine together with Dutch Financial State Secretary Frans Weekers a number of existing tax treaties to assess the effects of the accords on tax revenues in developing countries. The aim is to ensure that the treaties, which are in some cases decades old, are still fit for purpose. Commenting on her plans to support developing countries with their revenue collection, Ploumen underlined the importance of ensuring that these countries are able to generate their own income ...
Spain's Montoro Defends 2013 Budget
17 December 2012
Shanghai Approaches Hong Kong In Competitiveness Rankings
10 December 2012
According to the annual listings released by the China Institute of City Competitiveness, Hong Kong remains China
Moroccan Lawmakers Back 2013 Budget
30 November 2012
Singapore, Poland Sign Enhanced DTA
9 November 2012
On November 4, 2012, Singapore and Poland signed an enhanced double taxation agreement (DTA), which also incorporates the internationally-agreed standard for exchange of information for tax purposes. The DTA was signed on the occasion of the visit to Singapore of Poland
France Rejigs VAT Rates To Fund Cuts In Labour Costs
9 November 2012
French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault has unveiled details of government plans to boost growth, competitiveness and employment in France, to be achieved notably by reducing by EUR20bn (USD25.5bn) the cost of labour. Underlining the need for 'ambitious and courageous decisions' to be taken, to reposition France at the very heart of the global economy, Ayrault insisted that the government has decided to implement almost all of the recommendations proposed by French investment commissioner Louis Gallois in his recent report. To give companies room to manoeuvre, the government has decided to retain the first, 'massive' and 'unprecedented' measure proposed in the report, namely the EUR...
Cyprus To Be Removed From Russian Blacklist
9 November 2012
The Russian government has published an Order in the nation's Official Gazette to provide for the removal of Cyprus from the nation's 'blacklist' of non-cooperative 'tax havens' from January 1, 2013, when a Protocol to the nations' double tax agreement becomes effective. The conclusion of the Russia's domestic ratification procedures in respect of Cyprus's removal from the blacklist comes after years of negotiation between Cypriot officials and the Russian government. These talks began back in 2008 when Cyprus was added to a 'blacklist' of 54 countries after Russian authorities deemed it to be an 'uncooperative territory' that had historically failed to share tax information with Russia....
Tunisia Hikes Tax In 2013 Budget
9 November 2012
The Tunisian government plans to increase the tax on alcoholic drinks within the framework of the country
The Modern Network
8 August 2012
Networks have to evolve their offering in order to cater for the proactive firms that they have. Often the divergence of capabilities and dynamism within their membership limits the speed and their capability to achieve this. TGS has been set up to provide a solution to this compromise and consists of only those members that truly want to develop their international business practice and positively challenge themselves in this area. Our values are based around quality, delivery and collaboration and members adhere closely to a code of conduct and development criteria. A weak link in a network is unacceptable. TGS looks to exceed expectation through the high levels of collaboration wit...
An International Focus
20 June 2012
Having worked in the international accounting profession for over a decade, I have seen how local and national firms have positioned themselves as international service providers to their clients. Some have dabbled in this, with some success, whilst others have made it a clear part of their business strategy and thrived. Those that have dedicated time, resource and expertise to making sure that they are at the forefront of the profession and have the requisite knowledge with regard to the provision of international opportunity, have outperformed their competitors. They have achieved above market average growth, weathered tough trading times and have developed excellent reputations in the...
TGS Global, A Global Opportunity
3 May 2012
A new accounting network targeting entrepreneurial firms that are focused on international expansion has been launched. TGS global has been formed to meet the needs of an increasing number of accounting firms that want to be part of a business development-focused network helping members to target and win multi-national clients. It has already attracted leading accounting firms around the world and continues it's rapid expansion. TGS global has been set up with James Frost as CEO, who draws upon his experience gained within a leading mid-tier network, 'We are seeing many companies that are looking to be more internationally engaged - even if they want to continue their local growth, th...