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May 27, 2009

Editor's Note
The days of foreign tax havens may be coming to a close. In an attempt to stave off the effects of a sour economy, many governments are rethinking their taxation systems. In the U.S. we are seeing a variety of creative tax increases, not the least of which is an attempt to tax money deposited by U.S. citizens in offshore accounts. Our country is not the only country looking for additional revenue. Interestingly, some countries are turning to tax decreases as a way to stimulate their economies. Huh? That's correct. Some have figured out the fact that lower taxes encourage growth and new business development and thus result in more taxes being paid in the long run. The articles in this special news bulletin on international taxes give you a taste of what's happening in our country and abroad.

Best regards,
Gail Perry, CPA
Managing Editor


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The IRS reports that U.S. persons who have bank and other financial accounts in a foreign country may be required to report those accounts to the U.S. Department of Treasury by the June 30 deadline. more >>
IRS will not impose penalties on delinquent Foreign Bank Account Reports
The IRS is in the process of cracking down on offshore activities and, as part of this process, is encouraging voluntary disclosures from taxpayers who have offshore accounts. By offering avoidance of penalties and elimination of the risk of criminal prosecution, the IRS hopes to entice taxpayers to come clean regarding offshore activity. more >>
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Global indirect tax policies affect many businesses
A recent KPMG Global Indirect Tax Brief provides the latest information on how governments worldwide are striving to raise additional revenues by broadening their indirect tax base. This does not necessarily mean across-the-board tax increases. In many cases, countries are educing taxes to encourage businesses to move to certain countries or to expand their presence or their output. more >>
IRS seeks to pierce the veil of secrecy on foreign bank accounts
The days of anonymous Swiss bank accounts identified only by numbers and of stashes of cash in the Cayman Islands are dwindling. Not that there is anything inherently wrong with keeping the accounts, as long as the purpose isn't to evade U.S. income tax. more >>
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Will multinational corporations survive the coming tax changes?
Why are business groups, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, spitting nails after President Obama's announcement of tax changes on Monday May 4th? more >>

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G-20 nations agree to sanctions for tax havens, call for stronger regulation
Leaders at the recent G-20 summit agreed to publish the names of tax havens that refuse to comply with the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development's rules on tax information sharing, a move that very quickly caused the four nations named on the "black list" of uncooperative nations to agree to OECD rules. more >>
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