Last update: Sun, 26 Jun 2016 10pm

Taxation: World


The European Union agreed a raft of anti-tax evasion measures Tuesday that would make it harder for multinationals to shift profits to countries with lower taxes, but critics said they were too watered down. The proposals were agreed on provisionally by the EU's 28 finance ministers on Friday, following major revelations in the Panama Papers and LuxLeaks scandals of tax schemes enjoyed by big banks, companies and wealthy individuals.
Qatar is seeking to draw in more foreign investors and cut its dependence on gas revenues by setting up special economic zones that will allow for 100 percent overseas ownership. The world's top LNG exporter is one of the richest countries per capita but faces a projected 46.5 billion riyal ($12.8 billion) budget deficit this year and like other Gulf states has had to borrow abroad to shore up its finances.
Sri Lanka's cabinet approved Wednesday the introduction of a capital gains tax for the first time in 14 years, as the island battles a revenue crisis that has forced an IMF bailout. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe's tax plans come after the International Monetary Fund (IMF) this month released the first tranche of a $1.5 billion loan in support of the island's reform agenda.
A 167-year-old newspaper in Panama that existed even before the country became independent is faced with extinction because its main shareholder has been hit with US sanctions for allegedly laundering drug money. The daily, La Estrella de Panama, and a sister newspaper, El Siglo, are in "real danger of closing," the head of its publishing company, Eduardo Quiros, told foreign correspondents on Monday.
Fitch on Monday cut its outlook for Japan, citing Tokyo's decision to postpone a sales tax hike seen as critical to paying down one of the world's biggest national debts. The company said it was changing its view to negative from stable but left Japan's "A" credit rating unchanged, after downgrading the heavily indebted country last year.
British exporters risk an extra £5.6 billion ($8.2 billion, 7.2 billion euros) of annual customs duties if the country votes to leave the EU, the World Trade Organization (WTO) chief warned on Tuesday. Britain would need new trade deals with the EU and with each of the 58 countries that have free-trade deals with the bloc, Director General Roberto Azevedo said at a conference in London.
The Philippines'' incoming finance minister Carlos Dominguez says he is open to diversifying the country''s borrowings to fund infrastructure projects and will push for a cut in income taxes to keep the Southeast Asian country on track for growth. Boosting infrastructure spending is among the priorities for the new government of Rodrigo Duterte, the firebrand mayor from Davao city in the south, who won the May 9 election by promising he will go hard against crime and corruption and improving basic government services.