Tax avoidance

EU set to remove Switzerland and UAE from tax haven blacklist

Briefcase full of dollars
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European Union finance ministers are set to remove Switzerland and United Arab Emirates (UAE) from the bloc's lists of countries deemed to act as tax havens, Reuters reports.

They are expected to drop UAE from the blacklist on 10 October, which includes jurisdictions that have failed to cooperate with the EU on tax matters.

The Pacific archipelago of the Marshall Islands will also be removed from the list.

Switzerland will be removed from a grey list that includes countries that have committed to change their tax rules to make them compliant with EU standards.

Online traders rush to register for VAT

Graph showing online traders registering for VAT

Some 38,000 traders on online retail platforms like eBay and Amazon have registered with HMRC to pay VAT for the first time in the past year, reckons accountants BDO.

That's up 31% from 29,000 a year ago the firm says.

It follows HMRC's targeting of suspected VAT evaders which has led to thousands of sellers being removed from eBay and Amazon in the past year.

HMRC reported in January 2019 that it had ‘red flagged’ 4,600 businesses, mostly in China, for failing to pay VAT on online sales in the UK.

Former Jersey finance worker 'spied for French MI6'

BBC Radio Jersey

St Helier
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An-ex finance worker in Jersey has claimed in a book he was a secret agent for the French equivalent of MI6.

The former fund administrator wrote that he volunteered as a spy to expose a rogue world - with systems set up to escape tax - which he described as like Russian dolls.

Maxime Renahy, 40, worked for Mourant International Finance Administration in Jersey for three years from 2007. State Street bank later bought the company.

The States of Jersey said it would not comment on the book's "unverified claims".

Row grows over 'loan charge' suicide

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The UK tax authority has reported the suicide of an individual facing a new "loan charge" to its complaints body for the first time, The FT reports today.

HMRC reported the incident to the Independent Office for Police Conduct, which investigates serious complaints involving the tax body.

From Friday at least 50,000 people who avoided NI and income tax by using schemes that paid them mostly in loans - described as "disguised remuneration" by HMRC - face the loan charge.

Mel Stride, financial secretary to the Treasury, told the paper, that he was "deeply upset and disturbed" by the death reported.

But he dismissed claims the charge was unfair or would lead to bankruptcies.

BBC catches rogue traders selling black-market receipts
Traders filmed in a BBC investigation admitted selling up to £20,000 of receipts that could be used to cheat UK taxes.