Bulletin 50

Printable Version

EU Considering Stricter Anti-Money Laundering Rules

EU’s Financial Affairs Council (ECOFIN) considered on 10 October further harmonisation of the EU Anti-Money Laundering (AML) regime by upgrading the present AML directives to a regulation, an EU law instrument which is directly enforceable in all EU Members states without further implementing acts at state level. The ministers also discussed concentrating the AML supervisory activities in a single pan-European body.

British Columbia issues new beneficial ownership rules for businesses

British Columbia’s provincial government is taking a further step in its fight against hidden ownership, money laundering and tax evasion: from May 1, 2020, private businesses will be required to keep records of their beneficial owners.

FATF releases best practice guidance on establishing beneficial ownership

The global Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has published best practice guidance on establishing beneficial ownership of legal persons such as companies, foundations and associations.

Latest FATF reports highlight strategic anti-money laundering deficiencies

The latest reports from the global Financial Action Task Force (FATF) have retained the Bahamas, Pakistan, Panama, and Trinidad and Tobago as jurisdictions with strategic anti-money laundering (AML) deficiencies.

Tax Transparency: European Parliament Push on Public Country by Country Reporting

The European Parliament voted on 24 October a resolution backing EU-wide public country-by-country reporting of taxes paid by large multinational companies. The text of the proposed directive was already approved by the European Parliament in 2017, but Member states could not agree on the way forward. The European Parliament resolution was voted by 572 in favour, 42 against and 21 abstentions, urging Member states to enter into a dialogue with the European Parliament to finally adopt the directive.

OECD ‘Unified Approach’ Public Consultation on 21-22 November in Paris

The OECD is inviting interested parties to a public consultation on 21-22 November in Paris on the Secretariat Proposals for a Unified Approach under Pillar One concerning the taxation challenges of the digitalisation of the economy. The participants will be selected from stakeholders that have submitted timely response on the request for input. This meeting will be broadcast live on OECD WebTV.

Tax Dispute Resolution: BEPS Action 14 Peer Review Reports

In the framework of the work undertaken under BEPS Action 14 and the improvement of the tax dispute resolution mechanisms, the OECD issued the 6th round of peer review reports, assessing the efforts by countries to implement the Action 14 minimum standard as agreed to under the OECD/G20 BEPS Project.

UN Tax Committee Meeting: Taxation and SDGs

The 19th Session of the UN Committee of Experts on International Cooperation in Tax Matters held in Geneva on 15- 18 October saw a debate on the relevance of taxation policy for the attainment of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), among other topics. Other agenda items included the tax challenges of the digitalisation of the economy, update of the UN Nations Model Double Taxation Convention between Developed and Developing Countries, production of a UN Handbook on Tax Dispute Avoidance and Resolution as well as an update of the UN Transfer Pricing Manual.

EU ‘Blacklist’ Guidance on Foreign-Source Income Exemption Regimes

In the context of the EU evaluation of tax good governance standards by third countries and the list of non-cooperative jurisdictions for tax purposes the EU published Guidance on foreign source income exemption regimes. According to the document, an overly broad definition of income excluded from taxation, notably foreign sourced passive income without any conditions or a nexus not complying with the PE definition contained in the OECD Model Tax Convention, shall be considered harmful practices aimed at facilitating double non-taxation.

CYPRUS: Tax advantages obtained outside EU are ruled out of scope of DAC6 legislation

The Cypriot Ministry of Finance has circulated a draft Bill to transpose into national legislation the so-called EU DAC6 requiring disclosure and exchange of cross-border tax arrangements. The draft Bill goes beyond the EU’s own text by implying that it only applies to tax advantages obtained in Cyprus or another EU Member State: a so-called ‘EU-nexus’ approach.

BENEFICIAL OWNERSHIP: FATF releases best practice guidance

The global Financial Action Task Force has published best practice guidance on establishing beneficial ownership of legal persons such as companies, foundations and associations. It says jurisdictions using a multi-pronged approach with several sources of information are often more effective in preventing the misuse of legal persons for criminal purposes.

Source: STEP | Malta Institute of Taxation

Please contact David Marinelli should you wish to discuss any matter relating to jurisdiction & compliance risk management or asset protection pertaining to your business or your clients.