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Germany's highest court Wednesday ruled against inheritance tax breaks for many family-run businesses, raising fears in a sector known as the backbone of Europe's top economy. The Constitutional Court said certain exemptions for companies that pass from one generation to the next are unconstitutional and that the system must be modified by late June 2016.

India's plans to rationalise state and federal indirect taxes into a harmonised goods and service tax (GST) took a step closer to reality after New Delhi struck a deal with recalcitrant states, two government sources told Reuters. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley brokered a compromise on Monday evening that would pave the way for a key constitutional amendment to be tabled in the current parliamentary session that runs to December 23.
A Luxembourg judge has charged a former PricewaterhouseCoopers employee suspected of leaking documents about secret corporate tax deals with theft and giving away business secrets, the Luxembourg public prosecutor's office said on Saturday. It said in a statement an examining magistrate had also charged the unidentified person on Friday with breaching professional confidentiality and fraudulent access to a computerised data system.
A terracotta statue dating back to about 200 BC has been returned to the Chinese authorities after being intercepted by customs in Switzerland, the Swiss government said Friday. The statue from the Han dynasty measures about 47 centimetres (18.5 inches) and is thought to be of a servant, the culture ministry said in a statement.
Japan has chosen the Chinese character for "tax" as the defining symbol of 2014, it was announced on Friday. Seihan Mori, master of the ancient Kiyomizu temple in Kyoto, artfully wrote the character on a huge white panel using an ink-soaked calligraphy brush. At the end of every year the general public vote for a Chinese character that they think embodies the key news and events of the previous 12 months.
Hungary's tax chief is suing the top US diplomat in Budapest for defamation, her lawyer said Thursday, days after an ultimatum from Prime Minister Viktor Orban amid a spiralling row with Washington over corruption. "Ildiko Vida has filed a criminal complaint for defamation and a complaint for damage to her reputation and we are asking for five million forints (over 16,200 euros, $20,180) in damages and an apology," Vida's lawyer Barnabas Futo told AFP.
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban on Monday ordered his country's tax chief to sue the top US diplomat in Budapest for defamation over corruption allegations. Orban's ultimatum to Ildiko Vida is the latest twist in a row with Washington. Ties have been worsening since US President Barack Obama in September criticised Budapest's moves against civil society. Washington had also banned the entry of six Hungarian officials, including Vida, for alleged corruption.


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ICT 2014

Foreign Debt $61.805bn
Per Cap Income $1,386
GDP Growth 4.14%
Average CPI 8.6%
Trade Balance $-2.309 bln
Exports $1.957 bln
Imports $4.266 bln
WeeklyDecember 15, 2014
Reserves $13.922 bln