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British Virgin Islands: implementation of economic substance requirement

British Virgin Islands: implementation of economic substance requirement

1 January 2019 the Economic Substance (Companies and Virgin Limited Partnerships) Act 2018 (the Act) that establishes the requirement of real (physical) presence of certain types of legal entities in the territory of British Virgin Islands (BVI) has entered into force. This requirement covers only companies and partnerships resident in BVI. Resident company’s definition includes

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Seychelles: confidentiality of registers of directors

Seychelles: confidentiality of registers of directors

29 November 2018 the legislative bodies of Seychelles have enacted the amendment to International Business Companies Act (IBC Act) that changes the confidentiality regime for registers of Seychelles companies’ directors. The previous version of IBC Act provided that the registers of directors filed with the Registrar of Companies were subject to disclosure to general public.

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Difficulties of SWIFT functioning in Latvia

Difficulties of SWIFT functioning in Latvia

27 November 2018 during the session of Saeima (legislative body of Latvia) it was informed that the international interbank system of telecommunications and payments SWIFT has proclaimed Latvia as a high risk country that resulted in sufficient slowdown of all transactions in this system. This circumstance is primarily connected with Moneyval’s (the Committee of Experts

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Tax amnesty in Panama

Tax amnesty in Panama

Legislative bodies of Panama have enacted a Law 49 of 11 September 2018 (Law 49) that amends Tax Code of Panama and some other legal acts. The mentioned Law 49 establishes tax amnesty in Panama that exempts taxpayers from liability for non-payment or past due payment of some types of taxes and fees payable by

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The first results of automatic exchange 2018

The first results of automatic exchange 2018

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has announced the interim results of implementation of automatic exchange of financial account information in 2018. The automatic exchange is carried out annually in unified electronic format between tax authorities of the countries participating in Multilateral Competent Authority Agreement (MCAA) under the Common Reporting Standard (CRS). The

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Restrictions on servicing of shell companies in Cyprus banks

Cyprus Central Bank issues a new circular on shell companies

The Central Bank of Cyprus has issued a new Circular Letter dated 2 November 2018 concerning shell companies, also known as “paper companies” or “mailbox companies”. It is addressed to money laundering compliance officers of all credit, payment and e-money institutions. In summer 2018 the Cypriot Central Bank had already sent a similar circular, where

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Automatic exchange and citizenship by investment programs

Automatic exchange and citizenship by investment programs

16 October 2018 the Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has published a list of jurisdictions that provide citizenship, residence and special types visas to foreign individuals by investment in its economy, that potentially may be used for avoidance of automatic exchange of information about financial accounts of taxpayers (automatic exchange) at OECD’s opinion.

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Amendment of low tax jurisdictions blacklist of the European Union

Amendment of low tax jurisdictions blacklist of the European Union

On 2 October 2018 the Council of the European Union (EU) has amended the blacklist of non-cooperative jurisdictions for tax purposes: Palau has been de-listed. This blacklist was published on 5 December 2017 and included 17 jurisdictions that do not cooperate in matters of exchange of tax information and establish preferential tax regimes (zero or

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Amendment of low tax jurisdictions blacklist of the European Union

Amendment of low tax jurisdictions blacklist of the European Union

On 2 October 2018 the Council of the European Union (EU) has amended the blacklist of non-cooperative jurisdictions for tax purposes: Palau has been de-listed. This blacklist was published on 5 December 2017 and included 17 jurisdictions that do not cooperate in matters of exchange of tax information and establish preferential tax regimes (zero or

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Estonia: registers of beneficial owners

Estonia: registers of beneficial owners

1 September 2018 the amendment to Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Prevention Act (“the Act”) that establishes publicly available registers of beneficial owners in Estonia has entered into force. In accordance with Section 9 of the Act the beneficial owner of the Estonian company is deemed to be a natural person who: 1. Directly or

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