Last update: Mon, 02 May 2016 08am

Taxation: World


Only about two percent of Indians filed income tax returns in 2013, long-awaited official data showed Friday, highlighting an exceptionally low tax base that constrains public spending in the world''s second-most populous nation. The government was nudged into releasing the figures after celebrated economist Thomas Piketty in January criticised the difficulty of measuring India''s wealth distribution since New Delhi stopped publishing income tax data in 2000.
Developed countries should raise taxes on coal production to help raise money for a $100 billion-a-year fund that is supposed to help poorer countries tackle climate change but are short of cash, India's environment minister said on Wednesday. An agreement to finance the fund was a major part of the landmark Paris climate change accord forged in December after four years of fraught negotiations, but Prakash Javadekar told Reuters rich countries were failing to stick to their part of the bargain while asking countries such as India to do more.
Swedish banks are expected to fight government plans to clamp down on the favourable tax treatment of subordinated debt, which threaten to push up the cost of issuing and servicing regulatory capital. Finance minister Magdalena Andersson outlined proposals in the Swedish press on Wednesday that could generate SEK1.4bn (US $173m) in revenues by removing the tax deductibility of coupons on Additional Tier 1 and Tier 2 bonds.
Three Frenchmen went on trial in Luxembourg on Tuesday accused of an "incredible" document leak that exposed huge tax breaks for major global companies, in an issue brought sharply into focus by the Panama Papers scandal. Antoine Deltour and Raphael Halet, two former employees at services firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), and French journalist Edouard Perrin face charges over the theft of thousands of confidential files in the so-called LuxLeaks scandal.
Four of the world''s largest multilateral organisations joined hands Tuesday in the fight to help developing countries fight tax evasion. The International Monetary Fund, World Bank, United Nations and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), announced a joint platform for collaboration on tax issues, a beginning step to design and implement international standards.
Panamanian President Juan Carlos Varela called on Tuesday for global efforts to tackle the "Panama Papers" scandal, insisting it is not a problem just for his country but the international financial system as a whole. Panama is scrambling to avert redesignation as a tax haven that assists money laundering after the disclosure of the offshore dealings of many of the world''s wealthy, famous and infamous. They came to light when millions of documents covering nearly 40 years of business were leaked from the archives of the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca.
Visiting Panamanian President Juan Carlos Varela told a Japanese news agency on Monday that his country would cooperate with an OECD initiative to share tax information in the wake of the "Panama Papers" scandal. Varela said in an interview with Kyodo News that Panama has "decided to join the common reporting standards," referring to the measures on exchanging financial account information with tax authorities set by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development.