Oregon’s offshore tax system faces a potential overhaul in the Legislature, one year after lawmakers repealed the state’s five-year old tax haven legislation.

The debate is about Oregon’s role in the global marketplace and its need to collect taxes from corporations with interests outside the U.S.

Lawmaker actions from 2018 will get scrutiny in the debate, too.

Tax reform advocates say Oregon lawmakers moved too quickly when they repealed the state’s tax haven law. That law rerouted the Oregon-earned income of companies based offshore for tax collection purposes.

Oregon’s former tax haven law was a blacklist: It targeted and named countries, like the Cayman Islands, San Marino and the Cook Islands.

Source :https://eu.statesmanjournal.com/story/news/politics/2019/02/02/oregon-offshore-tax-laws-scrutiny-legislature-loophole-economy/2683410002/

 

There are been many changes in the Belize IBC, Trusts and Foundations legislation in the past few years, on 2019 new provision will be in force :

1. All IBCs must provide a Register of Director, Beneficial Owner and Shareholder. Please see attached the changes in the legislation regarding these requirements. Amendment to the Leglislation 2017 and S.I. 63

2. All Belize Structures must provide a Beneficial Owner Declaration. Kindly see attached the legislation S.I. 62. This document must be provide by June, 2019. Owner’s Declaration to be completed is attached.

3. This December, the Belize Parliament has passed some changes to the International Business Act, which will take effect on 1st January 2019. There will be a number of grandfathering provisions for existing Belize companies, which Tarovision will naturally share with our clients, but before we do so, there are a series of clarifications that our corrispondents are sorting out with the Belize Regulator to ensure the certainty of the law.

The Circular dated 2/11/2018 revised the definition of “shell companies” as the following :

Definition of Shell Companies:

The term “shell company/entity” refers to a limited liability company or any other legal/business entity that bears the following characteristics:

  1.  It has no physical presence or operations in its country of incorporation/registration (other than a mailing address);                                      Physical presence of a company/entity is construed as having a place of business or operations (own or rented premises) in the country of registration/incorporation.Also, absence of meaningful mind and management could be construed as lack of physical presence.The presence of a third person providing merely nominee services including company secretary duties does not constitute on its own physical presence and
  2. It has no established economic activity in its country of incorporation/registration, little to no independent economic value and no documentary proof to the contrary.

Exceptions:

  1. the company/entity is established for the purpose of holding stock or shares or other equity instruments of another business entity or entities engaged in legitimate business with identifiable ultimate beneficial owner(s);
  2. the company/entity is established for the purpose of holding intangible or other assets including real estate, ship, aircraft, portfolio of investments, debt and financial instruments;
  3. the company/entity is established to facilitate currency trades and asset transfers, corporate mergers as well as carrying out asset management activities and trading of shares;
  4. the company/entity acts as a treasurer for companies recognized as a group or manages the activities of the group;
  5. any other case where convincing evidence can be provided that the company/entity is engaged in legitimate business, with identifiable ultimate beneficial owner(s).

 

if an entity falls within the above exceptions but

  1. it is registered in a jurisdiction where companies/entities are not required to submit to the authorities independently audited financial statements and does not voluntarily prepare audited financial statements by independent qualified professional accountants who are licensed or regulated and/or
  2. it has a tax residence in a jurisdiction included in the EU list of non-cooperative jurisdictions for tax purposes or the OECD’s list of non-cooperative jurisdictions for tax purposes or has no tax residence whatsoever,

 

then business relationships (i.e. banking) with such an entity shall be avoided.

In the last 24 April 2018, the Swiss federal government’s discussed about the recommendations OECD Global Transparency Forum of July 2016. This proposed the compulsory conversion of bearer shares into registered shares.

Bernhard Loetscher and Flavia Widmer of CMS von Erlach Poncet said ‘The abolition of bearer shares is not a measure necessary to align with international standards’ and ‘The rules on transparency of legal entities enacted in 2015, which confirmed the feasibility of bearer shares, were at the time recognised as compliant with the FATF’s respective recommendations. Moreover, those rules have proven to be effective.’

This consultation is open until 21 September 2018.

The US has listed as Cyprus as a ‘country of primary concern’ with regard to money laundering across the world. A 2015 report by the US State Department noted that Cyprus was used primarily as an intermediary by criminals seeking to launder money.

Under the pressure of the US the Central Bank of Cyprus (CBC) has issued a statement where instructed all banking institutions not to open new bank accounts, or renew existing ones with companies that are regarded as “shell” or “letter box” companies.

The announcement states that all trading companies that have no substance (effective place of business and management) will not be permitted to maintain bank accounts in Cyprus. including the trading companies incorporated in “tax havens”.

The Ordinance 2018 (“the Amendment Ordinance”) introduced new requirements on the keeping of significant controllers registers by the Hong Kong companies.

From 1 March 2018 all incorporated company (except listed companies) in Hong Kong must identify people or entities that have significant control over the company and to maintain a significant controllers register (SCR).The register will accessible to Hong Kong authorities.

From 1 July 2017 certain British Virgin Islands companies will be required to identify and collect details of the individuals who ultimately own or control 25% or more of the shares or voting rights or who otherwise exercise control over the management of the company, thenew legislation implement a networked database of beneficial ownership interests in companies incorporated or domiciled in the jurisdiction.

The database, known domestically as the Beneficial Ownership Secure Search (BOSS) System, is being rolled out so that the BVI can comply with its obligations under the Exchange of Notes agreement entered into with the UK in April 2016 (UK Exchange of Notes). The UK Exchange of Notes modernises the way in which the BVI competent authorities may gain access to beneficial ownership information of BVI companies.