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Global: Businesses Increasingly Looking To 'Major' Offshore Centers

Thursday, 29 August 2013   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Author: Ulrika Lomas
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Author: Ulrika Lomas

Major offshore centers have benefited from initiatives led by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) to crack down on alleged tax avoidance and evasion.

According to research presented at the Royal Geographic Society's international conference, smaller offshore territories have borne the brunt of proposals designed to help governments recover the tax they are owed.

Dr. Daniel Haberly told the conference that multinationals have "shifted money around" in response to the changing situation. It appears that businesses are increasingly favouring jurisdictions such as Switzerland, Luxembourg, and Ireland, at the expense of those like St Vincent and the Grenadines, the Seychelles, and Nauru.

At the request of the G20 group of nations, the OECD last month produced an Action Plan intended to "provide countries with domestic and international instruments that will better align rights to tax with economic activity." Among the 15 actions identified by the OECD include a requirement that taxpayers disclose any aggressive tax planning arrangements, and that multinationals provide relevant governments with information on their global allocation of income, economic activity, and tax paid.

In July, G8 members adopted their own Action Plan on beneficial ownership and profit shifting (BEPS), and signed a declaration committing them to the automatic exchange of information on a greater scale.



Section 240A of the Tax Administration Act, 2011 (as amended) requires that all tax practitioners register with a recognized controlling body before 1 July 2013. It is a criminal offense to not register with both a recognized controlling body and SARS.

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