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Four Chinese Tycoons Transferred $17 Billion to Trusts

Four Chinese tycoons transferred more than $17 billion of their wealth into family trusts late last year, underscoring how the rich are scrambling to protect their fortunes from the nation’s newly toughened tax regime. The latest example came from billionaire Sun Hongbin, chairman of real-estate developer Sunac China Holdings Ltd., who disclosed in a filing in Hong Kong on Jan. 12 that he shifted most of his stake in the company to South Dakota Trust Co. LLC on Dec. 31. Longfor Group Holdings Ltd. Chairwoman Wu Yajun, one of China’s richest women, made a similar move in recent weeks, as did the wealthy...

British Virgin Islands: Why More Chinese Businesses Are Choosing The BVI For Offshore Investment: A Move To Quality

The last few years have seen a steady flow of Chinese businesses choosing to incorporate entities in the British Virgin Islands (BVI), and Chinese lawyers seeking knowledge on the uses and advantages of BVI structures for their clients' transactions. Ashley Davies, partner, corporate & finance Group, of Campbells, discusses what has perked the Chinese interest in the BVI. Over the last few decades, it is increasingly widely known that there has been a steady flow of Chinese businesses choosing to incorporate entities in the British Virgin Islands (BVI). And in tandem with the growing interest from Chinese enterprises looking to...

UK visa statistics show 11% growth in China last year

China contributed to a massive quarter of UK visas issued globally last year, according to the latest quarterly report on immigration statistics published by UK's Home Office.In the light of the statistics, more than 730,000 visas were issued to Chinese nationals in 2018, which equates to 25 percent of the total 2.9 million entry clearance visas granted, and represents an 11 percent increase from the previous year. Both Chinese visitors and students to the UK saw strong growth in numbers. According to the statistics, the number of  visitor visas issued to Chinese nationals last year increased by 11 percent  to...

Henley Index: Japan and Singapore top 2019 list of world's most powerful passports

(CNN) — It's been a three-horse race this year to be named the world's most powerful passport, with all top three contenders in Asia. Now, as we enter the second half of 2019, Japan and Singapore have held onto their position as the world's most travel-friendly passports, with South Korea dropping into second place. That's the view of the Henley Passport Index, which periodically measures the access each country's travel document affords. Singapore and Japan's passports have topped the rankings thanks to both documents offering access to 189 countries each. South Korea is now rubbing shoulders with Finland and Germany in the...

UK is 'world's greatest enabler' of corporate tax avoidance, says study

The UK has been described as "the world's greatest enabler" of corporate tax avoidance. A study published by the Tax Justice Network showed that British territories and dependencies are four of the 10 countries that have done the most to "proliferate corporate tax avoidance". At the top of the list was the British Virgin Islands, followed by Bermuda and the Cayman Islands - all British overseas territories. They were followed by the Netherlands, Switzerland and Luxembourg. At number seven was the British dependency of Jersey, followed by Singapore, the Bahamas (a British Commonwealth territory) and Hong Kong. Tax evasion is...

SRA Should Not Condemn Lawful Tax Avoidance

The Solicitors Regulation Authority of England and Wales has just announced a crackdown and investigation against 26 firms over alleged failures in their anti-money laundering procedures. The SRA move appears to arise, at least in part, out of its investigations and warning regarding tax avoidance issued to law firms in late 2017. Given that the both the original warning and the ensuing investigations raise potential money laundering issues, it may be that the SRA’s overarching objective is to ensure that law firms comply with not only with SRA regulations, but also the broader AML issues as the two are inextricably...

Swiss court allows UBS bank account data transfer to France

Switzerland's top court has ruled that Swiss authorities can share data with France on some 40,000 USB bank accounts. France wants the data after a German probe indicated there could have been tax evasion. The Swiss Supreme Federal Court allowed tax authorities to hand over to French tax authorities data on some 40,000 accounts at UBS. The bank said it would "carefully review the written verdict." French tax officials have been seeking the data since German investigators found evidence that thousands of French nationals might have put money in UBS accounts to avoid paying taxes. With its ruling, the court overturned...

Would Elizabeth Warren’s Wealth Tax Work?

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) has laid out an ambitious slate of proposals as a candidate for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination: universal childcare and pre-K, free college tuition and student debt relief, building affordable housing, combating the opioid crisis and more. Her plans would involve some $3 trillion in spending over 10 years, according to estimates by her campaign cited by The Washington Post — and they would all be paid for by higher taxes on the wealthy and corporations. But, the Post’s Toluse Olorunnipa reports, “Warren’s ambitious agenda relies on two assumptions that defy a long history of U.S. policymaking:...