The US Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act
("FATCA") will come into force on 1 July
2013. In sum, FATCA determines that all financial institutions
worldwide will have to pass information about US clients to the US
tax authorities. US authorities claim that information about funds
held by all 'US persons' will enable the US to counter tax
fraud. Failure to cooperate may result in hefty fines.
The G5 - Germany, France, Italy, Spain, and the UK –
agreed on a Joint Statement with the US in February 2012 that will
ensure better international tax compliance and faster and easier
implementation of FATCA. This can be achieved by automatic exchange
of information on a reciprocal basis under the existing bilateral
tax treaties and by using a joint approach with regard to the
supply of data to the authorities of the FATCA partner country.
Early in March the State Secretary of Finance indicated his
willingness to join this arrangement. FATCA is expected to have a
considerable effect on the Dutch financial sector. By joining the
arrangements the Dutch government aims to reduce the cost to Dutch
financial institutions. Notably, FATCA may give rise to issues with
EU data protection rules. In April 2011, the European Commission
made a proposal on behalf of the Member States to accommodate
FATCA's requirements. The Commission also proposed a drastic
reform of data protection regulations on 25 January 2012. Those
proposals have been sent to the European Parliament and the EU
Member States for consultation.
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In its fight against corruption and white collar crime, the Austrian Judiciary can from now on also rely on an anonymous whistleblowing system that has been implemented with the aim of obtaining such information more easily.
After many years of a rather slow and inconsistent development
of regulation of corruption in Ukraine and continuous problem of
coordination of the anti-corruption incentives between different
branches of the Ukrainian government in this area, and repeated
delaying of coming into force and later annulment of the package of
the anti-corruption laws, the Ukrainian Parliament finally adopted
the New Law and the New Liability Law.
The ramifications for those found to be in civil contempt (as presided over by the High Court), and, in particular, the court’s power to enforce such a finding against a contemnor who resides overseas, are more far reaching than many (civil) lawyers realise.
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