STEP Wealth Structuring News Digest wrap-up – September’s top stories



Tired of surfing for the latest private wealth industry news? Welcome to the wrap-up of the top ten most popular stories in the STEP Wealth Structuring News Digest throughout September. In case you missed them, here are the worldwide industry news stories most viewed by our readers.

Citizenship renunciation fee soars as American expats flee FATCA: US government fees charged to Americans for renouncing their citizenship will rocket from USD450 to USD2,350 on 12 September. The fivefold increase is probably related to the recent dramatic rise in renunciations triggered by the US Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act.

Ten banks withdraw from US amnesty: It is reported that ten Swiss banks that joined the US Department of Justice’s non-prosecution programme have now withdrawn from it because they have decided they did not systematically break US tax laws. The agreement entails paying a large fine and disclosing client information to the USDoJ.

Cayman wealth advisor jailed following IRS sting: Investment advisor Joshua Vandyk, formerly of Cayman Islands firm Clover Asset Management, has been jailed for 30 months in the USA for offering to help conceal clients’ funds in anonymous offshore accounts. His Miami clients turned out to be Internal Revenue Service agents pretending to be bank fraudsters.

Clarification regarding registration in Model 1 jurisdictions: The US Internal Revenue Service has clarified that non-reporting financial institutions do not generally need to register for the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act if they qualify as deemed-compliant or exempt in a jurisdiction with a Model 1 inter-governmental agreement. There are some exceptions.

US prosecutors allege tax evasion conspiracy: The US authorities have charged six Belize business executives with organising a scheme to help American citizens evade USD500 million of taxes, escape their reporting obligations under the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, and manipulate US stock exchanges, all through anonymously owned shell companies in Belize and Nevis.

Industry chief condemns UK ownership registry plan: Jersey Finance’s chief executive officer Geoff Cook has published a detailed criticism of the UK government’s plans for a public registry of beneficial owners.

Rumours of big bank merger: Swiss newspaper SonntagsZeitung reports that Credit Suisse and Bank Julius Baer have been holding informal merger talks.

Renunciation may not be the answer: A US tax expert describes some of the difficulties faced by American expatriates who renounce their citizenship to avoid the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act. He suggests they first make use of the Internal Revenue Service’s voluntary disclosure programme.

Country-by-country reporting approved at G20: The UK and 43 other countries have committed to implementing the OECD’s new country-by-country reporting template, forcing multinationals to disclose where their profits are made and whether they are shifted elsewhere.

Worshippers recant in droves over capital gains tax blow: Thousands of German churchgoers have defected from their congregations over a new government policy of collecting a 9 per cent capital gains levy direct from their bank accounts. Church members have always been charged the tax, and from 1 January the banks will begin collecting it at source – but have only just told their outraged customers.

The STEP Industry News Digests provide a round-up of relevant industry news for trust and estate practitioners and other professionals in the wealth management sector. They provide brief summaries of topical news stories gathered from news providers internationally, providing a quick reference for busy practitioners to all the relevant news and issues. The News Digests also feature job listings from our recruitment site and list local STEP branch events and conferences. STEP’s digest services include twice weekly UK and Wealth Structuring (international) editions as well as a bi-weekly North America Digest focusing on the US, Canada and Mexico, and a Latin America Digest.

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