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OPTIMISM LIVES - 9 REASONS
LONDON. The Financial Times thinks there are at least nine reasons to be optimistic about the new year.More on this story here.
THE CAMPAIGN AGAINST OFFSHORE.
2000 was the year of the G-7 nations' offshore alphabet soup attack on haven nations; FSF, FATF, OECD, US, UK. Here's what it all meant.More on this story here.
CARIBBEAN DEVELOPMENT BANK CHIEF GETS LAST WORD (IN 2000) ON OECD
In a year dominated by the OECD and FATF initiatives on tax havens, it seems somehow inevitable that the end of the year 2000 should witness one more burst of indignation at the perceived attacks on the offshore world. Those nations "named and shamed" by the now infamous blacklists of summer 2000 have generally grown quieter and curbed their anger as the months have passed, but the president of the Caribbean Development Bank, Sir Neville Nicholls, is not about to let the wounds heal. Last week he accused the OECD of perpetrating "a bad joke" against the Caribbean by its "callous pressures" on the region's offshore financial sector.
In an interview with the Caribbean News Agency, Mr. Nicholls said that the OECD and the FATF claim as their raison d'etre the eradication of money laundering, and yet the practice goes on in the wealthy, developed nations i.e on their own doorsteps. Mr. Nicolls stated: 'Miami, for example, is well known as a major money-laundering centre of the world. What pressures are being exerted to deal with that and similar jurisdictions? This move against Caribbean offshore centres, therefore, has to be viewed as a bad joke'.
Moreover, said Mr. Nicholls, the OECD's blacklisting of some Caribbean states as "harmful tax havens" was "simply ridiculous". He charged: 'What makes the competition harmful and to whom? All of the industrialized nations offer tax incentives of one sort or another. So why this assault on the Caribbean? It is a bogus argument by the OECD, which is conscious of their member countries losing business to other jurisdictions and want to stop it.'More on this story here.
OFFSHORE E-COMMERCE GROWS.
And this was the year the Internet launched thousands of offshore businesses - banking, IBCs, trusts, mutual funds, gambling -- along with fraud and more government regulation.More on this story here.
OFFSHORE MUTUAL FUND TAX PITFALLS
There's lots of profit from careful investments in offshore mutual funds, but unexpected taxes lurk there as well.More on this story here.
THE EUROPEAN UNION & OFFSHORE
Phony "tax harmonization" served as the cover for pushing socialist EU high taxes everywhere.More on this story here.
CANADA WARNED TAX HIKES ON ACTORS JEOPARDIZE INDUSTRY
Take effect on Monday: U.S. stars working north of border will pay millions more.
Canada is jeopardizing its booming television and movie production industry by increasing taxes on foreign actors, a U.S. actors' union spokesman suggests.
Beginning Jan. 1, the federal government will increase withholding taxes for foreign actors working in Canada to 25% from 15%, according to the entertainment industry trade publication Variety.
Such top American actors as Arnold Schwarzenegger, John Travolta and Bruce Willis, who have filmed in Canada, usually command about US$20-million per movie. The new taxes would cost them an additional US$2-million.
Although a 1986 law allows Canada to tax foreign actors at 47%, the federal government has taxed them at 15% as an incentive to work in Canada.
Canadian cities such as Vancouver and Toronto, which reap millions of dollars in profits from Hollywood studios that film in Canada, fear the taxes would scare away actors who in many cases already pay taxes in California.More on this story here.
CANADA’S TAXES DRAIN BRAINS
OTTAWA - Canada's "quality of life" is overrated as an asset to attract foreign firms or stem the US-bound brain drain of talented people. High taxes are the culprit, says a survey of business leaders.More on this story here.
RUSSIAN TAX POLICE
MOSCOW. In ex-KGBer Putin's post-Soviet Russia, where tax evasion has become an art form, a new generation of very young, elite tax enforcers is learning to do more than inspect account records.More on this story here.
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