STEP Wealth Structuring News Digest

24 February 2011

TAX EVASION – Four Credit Suisse bankers charged in US over tax evasion 
Four former employees of “one of the biggest banks in Switzerland,” believed to be Credit Suisse, have been indicted in the US on charges of helping US taxpayers hide money in secret Swiss accounts to avoid taxes. 
NEW ZEALAND – Natural Disaster 
STEP would like to send its condolences to our members in New Zealand, especially those members and their families who reside in the Christchurch area. The thoughts and best wishes of the STEP Worldwide office are with you and I am certain that is also true of the entire STEP membership. Kia Kaha. David Harvey, Chief Executive, STEP Worldwide. 
TAX INFORMATION EXCHANGE – Vanuatu accuses Australian Tax Office of embarking on a ‘fishing expedition’ 
THE Vanuatu government has indicated it may join ANZ Bank’s Australian Federal Court action to stop the Australian Taxation Office accessing Australian-linked bank accounts in the Pacific Island nation.
Vanuatu Reserve Bank governor Odo Tevi claimed that the ATO was engaged in a “fishing expedition” late last year when it issued two notices to ANZ to produce the accounts. 
The Australian   

INDIA – Germany agrees to re-open talks over taxation agreement 
Germany has agreed to start early negotiations for amendment to the double tax avoidance agreement (DTAA) with India to enable the sharing of information for non-tax use. 
Times of India

The Hindu Business Line

Top News   
ISLE OF MAN – Minister dismisses talk of Zero 10 demise 
The Manx Treasury Minister has dismissed a report out of Guernsey suggesting the Isle of Man will eventually have to end its zero-10 tax regime as ‘spin’. 
Manx Radio   
SWITZERLAND – Baer whistle-blower ordered to remain in custody 
A former Julius Baer private banker has been ordered to remain in police custody over alleged breaches of Swiss banking secrecy laws after the whistle-blower lost an appeal. 
Private Banker International   
RUSSIA – Moscow aspiring to become a leading IFC 
Moscow continues to aspire to become a centre for international finance although opinion is divided over how far Moscow has come since the idea was first proposed in 2008. 
Moscow Times   
NIGERIA – MW Kellogg to Pay £7 million to Settle SFO Action 
The UK Serious Fraud Office (SFO) announced on 16 February 2011 that it has reached an agreement with MW Kellogg Limited (MWKL), by which MWKL will pay just over £7 million to the SFO under a civil recovery order in relation to profits generated by the Bonny Island LNG project in Nigeria. This is part of an increasing trend by the SFO to seek to use its civil recovery powers as opposed to commencing criminal prosecutions. 
INTERNATIONAL PENSIONS – Misplaced enthusiasm? 
The acronyms QROPS, QOPS, QNUPS and EFRBS have created much interest since their introduction as of 6 April 2006. Many pensions, tax and financial advisors have enthused about them and how they might benefit their clients, but is their optimism justified?. 
STEP Journal 


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