Last update: Wed, 28 Sep 2016 08pm

Taxation: World


The EU on Thursday said it was seeking answers from Neelie Kroes, a former top competition regulator, as to why she had failed to declare an interest in a Bahamas-based firm when in office. The European Commission, the EU's executive arm, was responding a day after embarrassing revelations by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists that showed Kroes had been a director of Mint Holdings Ltd in the Bahamas between 2000 and 2009.
Cash-strapped Greece, under pressure from creditors to improve chronically poor tax collection, has landed a surprising windfall from a cluster of high-end tourist islands, revenue officials said Thursday. In August, the height of Greece's busy tourist season, sales tax proceeds exceeded targets by nearly 10 percent, the finance ministry said. Overall, revenue from the main tourist islands increased by 62.3 percent to 32 million euros ($36 million).
Poland's populist government on Tuesday suspended a new tax on supermarkets that targetted foreign-owned chains just a day after the European Union opened a probe into whether it violated competition rules. Announcing the suspension in Warsaw, Poland's Finance Minister Pawel Szalamacha told reporters the EU investigation was "arbitrary and political", launched "under pressure from large corporations." Warsaw imposed the new tax in July in an effort to finance social programmes and broaden popular support for the Law and Justice (PiS) government.
Investors who own some bank sector funds may be in for an unwanted surprise: a tax bill. The largest US financials ETF, the $15 billion Financial Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLF), is paying out a large dividend that will be taxable for the fund's investors, according to a company notice distributed to some clients Friday.
Google faces a bill of over $400 million in Indonesia if authorities find it avoided taxes last year, an official said Monday, as Jakarta began a probe into the US tech giant. Indonesia last week announced it was launching an investigation into Google, alleging that the company had refused to cooperate with tax officials. Google has insisted that it has paid all taxes due in Indonesia since opening its Jakarta offices in 2011.
The European Union on Monday opened a probe into Poland's new tax on supermarkets, risking to worsen a row with conservative-led Warsaw. Poland imposed a new tax in July that affects larger, foreign-owned supermarkets in an effort to finance social programmes and broaden popular support for the Law and Justice (PiS) government. The new tax largely targets big groups such as France's Auchan and Carrefour and Germany's Lidl or Metro, sparing locally-owned retailers.
The French government plans to increase advances big companies have to pay on their 2017 taxes, two newspapers reported on Friday, in a move the main employers association has criticised. The extra cash would help keep the government's deficit reduction plans on track as it cuts household taxes and increases spending on items like security heading into a presidential election next April.