STEP International News Digest wrap-up – Junes’ top stories


Too busy enjoying the sunshine to keep up with the latest developments in the private wealth field? Welcome to the wrap-up of the top ten most popular stories in the STEP International News Digest throughout June 2015. In case you missed them, here are the worldwide industry news stories most viewed by our readers.

Responses to new Commission ‘blacklist’: The Commission of the European Union released yesterday a list of 30 ‘non-cooperative’ jurisdictions which it claims do not meet its standards of transparency, exchange of information, and fair tax competition. A number of financial centres have issued responses criticising the list.

Four more banks sign US non-prosecution deals: Four more Swiss private banks have reached non-prosecution agreements with the US Department of Justice (DoJ) under the terms of the DoJ’s Swiss Bank Program regarding allegations that they helped their American clients evade tax.

Summary of the past three years’ property tax reforms: Law firm Farrer & Co has produced a briefing summarising the new UK property tax regime, which has become more complicated in the last three years, especially for non-residents.

Presidential candidate to sue government over foreign bank account reporting rules: Senator Rand Paul is to sue the Internal Revenue Service in pursuance of a court declaration that the US’ Foreign Bank Account Reporting (FBAR) regime and the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) are unconstitutional. Paul is acting jointly with US expatriates who say they cannot obtain normal banking services abroad because of the US authorities’ campaign against offshore tax evasion.

Billionaire emigrant forced to pay exit tax: The South African Finance Ministry has succeeded in charging emigrant businessman Mark Shuttleworth ZAR250 million (EUR18 million) for moving funds out of the country in 2009. The country’s Supreme Court found in Shuttleworth’s favour last October, but has now been overruled following the government’s appeal to the Constitutional Court.

BVI gives non-doms four more months to opt out of automatic reporting: The British Virgin Islands (BVI) has allowed UK non-doms an additional four months to notify their intention to elect for the UK’s Alternative Reporting Regime (ARR).

Bank forms for identifying clients’ residency status: The British Bankers’ Association has issued template forms to be used by UK banks to collect information about their clients’ tax residency and citizenship status, so that it can be passed to foreign tax authorities under the OECD’s Common Reporting Standard.

The curious incident of the EU ‘blacklist’: STEP’s Deputy Chief Executive George Hodgson looks at the EU Commission’s publication of a so-called blacklist of 30 non-cooperative jurisdictions in his latest post on the STEP Blog, describing the move as “hardly the best example of evidence-based policy making from the EU.” The list targets jurisdictions which have not met EU standards of transparency, exchange of information and fair tax competition.

Trust law amended to override foreign court orders: Amendments to the Isle of Man’s trust law are expected to take effect on 16 June. The Trusts (Amendment) Act 2015 provides additional powers for Manx law to override judgments or orders of foreign courts – in particular those of England and Wales – and further protections for trustees and beneficiaries against the consequences of a foreign jurisdiction’s refusal to recognise the concept of trusts. The rule against perpetuities and the two-trustees rule are being abolished.

Two face money laundering charges: Two Sark residents, Michael Doyle and Belinda Lanyon, have gone on trial in Guernsey reportedly facing charges which include money laundering and using the proceeds of crime. Both deny all charges.

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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