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Category: Tax Havens and Harmful Tax Practices

Tax havens are jurisdictions that offers favorable tax conditions and secrecy to taxpayers as relative to other jurisdictions. There is no generally accepted definition of a tax haven, but commonly associated with such jurisdictions are low or no-taxes, no withholding taxes, and strict laws on secrecy.
Harmful tax practices refers to countries issuing highly favourable tax rulings and implementing preferential tax rules/regimes to attract foreign income, thereby eroding the tax bases of other countries.

EU list of Non-Cooperative Tax Jurisdictions – Tax Havens

12 March 2019 the EU Council added ten jurisdictions to the list of Non-Cooperative Tax Jurisdictions – Tax Havens. Non-Cooperative Tax Jurisdictions are those that refused to engage with the EU or to address tax good governance shortcomings. See the full 2019 document with the Council’s conclusions on the revised EU list of noncooperative jurisdictions for tax purposes here. As of March 2019 the EU list of Non-Cooperative Tax Jurisdictions includes 15 countries: American Samoa […]

Preferential Tax Regimes – Harmful Tax Practices

On 13 November 2018, the Inclusive Framework on BEPS approved updates to the results of reviews of preferential tax regimes conducted in connection with BEPS Action 5. The data below presents the conclusions of the work on regime reviews. The results are a consolidated update of the regimes reported in Harmful Tax Practices – 2017 Progress Report on Preferential Regimes. Countries with harmfull tax practices – preferential tax regimes – are defined based on the […]

Microsoft – Taxes and Transfer Pricing

For many years Microsoft’s tax affairs have been in the spotlight of tax authorities. Why? The setup used by Microsoft involves shifting profits from sales in the US, Europe and Asia to regional operating centers placed in low tax jurisdictions. The following text has been provided by Microsoft in a US filing concerning effective tax and global allocation of income: “Our effective tax rate for the three months ended September 30, 2017 and 2016 was […]

Marketing and Procurement Hubs – Tax Avoidance

The Australian Taxation Office has issued new guidance for multinational groups using offshore marketing- and procurment hubs for tax avoidance purposes. The guidance adresses tax schemes where MNEs uses offshore hubs to shift profits and thereby avoid Australian taxes. Offshore hub arrangements are catagorised by the ATO as white, green, blue, yellow, amber, or red – based on the risk assesment for tax purposes of the transfer pricing setup. The new guidance is a result […]

Pharma and Tax Avoidance, Report from Oxfam

New Oxfam research shows that four pharmaceutical corporations — Abbott, Johnson & Johnson, Merck, and Pfizer — systematically allocate super profits in overseas tax havens. In eight advanced economies, pharmaceutical profits averaged 7 percent, while in seven developing countries they averaged 5 percent. In comparison, profits margins averaged 31 percent in countries with low or no corporate tax rates – Belgium, Ireland, Netherlands and Singapore. The report exposes how pharmaceutical corporations uses sophisticated tax planning […]

Major US MNE’s in Ireland

Major US MNE’s with regional Headquarters in Ireland for European business activities. The corporation tax rate in Ireland is only 12.5%. However to further sweeten the deal for MNE’s, Ireland has been known to offer special tax deals to MNE’s resulting in much lower effective tax rates. Ireland provides MNEs with both low tax centers for European activities and conduit holding companies serving as hubs for transferring profits and capital to low tax jurisdictions such […]

EU Transparency on Income Allocation and Tax Arrangements – DAC 1 to 6

Tax authorities in the EU have agreed to cooperate more closely and exchange information so as to be able to apply their taxes correctly and combat tax fraud and tax evasion. Exchange of Information within the EU is based on Council Directive 2011/16/EU. The Directive and the later amendments in DAC 2 – 6 provides for exchange of information in three forms: spontaneous, automatic and on request. Spontaneous exchange of information takes place if a country discovers information on […]

EU blacklist of non-cooperative tax jurisdictions

On December 5, 2017, the EU published it’s blacklist of non-cooperative tax jurisdictions (tax havens). 1. American Samoa American Samoa does not apply any automatic exchange of financial information, has not signed and ratified, including through the jurisdiction they are dependent on, the OECD Multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance as amended, does not apply the BEPS minimum standards and did not commit to addressing these issues by 31 December 2018. 2. Bahrain Bahrain does […]

OECD: Report on harmful tax practices, 16 October 2017

The OECD report on harmful tax incentives provides details on reviews of 164 preferential tax regimes. Some preferential tax regimes are considered harmful – where these encourage the erosion of other jurisdictions’ tax bases. All 102 members of the BEPS Inclusive Framework have committed to ensuring that any regimes offered meet the criteria that have been agreed as part of BEPS Action 5. Crucially, this includes a requirement that taxpayers benefiting from a regime must […]

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