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What the US Senate said today about Luxembourg

Here are the paragraphs about Luxembourg in the US Senate report that was publised today in the framework of the hearing.

In 2006, the OECD issued a new report assessing the legal and administrative frameworks for tax transparency and tax information exchange in 82 countries. The purpose of this assessment was to help the OECD determine “what is required to achieve a global level playing field in the areas of transparency and effect exchange of information for tax purposes.” In October 2007, the OECD updated its 82-country assessment. The OECD wrote: “Significant restrictions on access to bank [information] for tax purposes remain in three OECD countries (Austria, Luxembourg, Switzerland) and in a number of offshore financial centres (e.g. Cyprus, Liechtenstein, Panama and Singapore). Moreover, a number of offshore financial centres that committed to implement standards on transparency and the effective exchange of information standards developed by the OECD’s Global Forum on Taxation have failed to do so.
Three EU members, Austria, Belgium, and Luxembourg, currently do not participate in the Directive’s automatic information exchanges. Instead, under a special arrangement approved as part of the Directive, these three EU countries levy a withholding tax on the interest payments made to nonresident individuals and, once per year, remit 75% of the amounts withheld to the individuals’ reported State of residence. The three countries are allowed to retain 25% of the amount withheld to cover their administrative costs of applying the withholding tax. The three countries are not required to provide client-specific information to any other country, such as the names of the individuals who received the interest payments or the amounts of interest paid; they are thereby able to preserve bank secrecy.
The transitional period does not have a specified ending date, but is designed to continue until the three EU countries, Austria, Belgium, and Luxembourg, as well as six other countries, Andorra, Liechtenstein, Monaco, San Marino, Switzerland, and the United States, agree to exchange tax information upon request, as set out in the OECD Model Agreement for exchanging information in tax matters
The EU Savings Directive applies to all 27 countries in the European Union. By agreement, it also applies to a number of countries outside the European Union, including ten overseas dependent territories associated with the United Kingdom and the Netherlands, as well as Andorra, Liechtenstein, Monaco, San Marino, and Switzerland. Four of these non-EU countries, Anguilla, Aruba, the Cayman Islands, and Montserrat, have agreed to participate in the Directive’s automatic information exchanges. The rest, however, comply with the EU Savings Directive in the same manner as Austria, Belgium, and Luxembourg, by applying a withholding tax during the specified transitional period rather than by supplying information about nonresident individuals who received interest payments on savings accounts within their jurisdictions.
The documents show that LGT used BTS Management Ltd., formed in the British Virgin Islands (BVI), to establish a number of the transfer corporations. The documents indicate that LGT typically asked BTS Management to form a BVI corporation which then opened an account at LGT or another bank, such as Bank du Gothard in Luxembourg. The transfer corporation then received funds or securities from an LGT client and immediately transferred those funds or securities to LGT, if its account was at an outside bank. In some instances the transfer corporation was then dissolved; in other instances, it continued in existence. Once the funds or securities were delivered to LGT bank, they were moved internally within the bank, using a mechanism called “journaling” to transfer them from one LGT account to another, here from the transfer corporation’s LGT account to the client’s LGT account. This internal transfer mechanism makes it much more difficult to trace the movement of funds and securities, since it leaves no record outside of the bank showing that the assets were transferred to the ultimate recipient, the LGT client.

We can see that a bank located in Luxembourg is quoted. Luxembourg in quoted 3 times in the exhibits document (page 245, 246, 270). Luxembourg definitely supports officially tax evasion and is functioning in a way that helps fraud because of a daily corruption and of lax business behaviours that are traced in official and public sources.

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17:15 Posted in Luxembourg | Permalink | Comments (0)

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