New Location For Commerce & Consumer Affairs
The public has been advised that the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs has been relocated to Building 2, Suite 101, Harbour Industrial Estate, opposite Chefette Restaurant, on Harbour Road, St. Michael. Additionally, with effect from Monday, February 15, new numbers will be allocated to that department. They are: the Director, 535-7001; the Deputy Director, 535-7002; and the PBX, 535-7000. Article compliments BGIS.
Antigua & Barbuda plans to open office in UAE
The government has announced intention to establish an embassy, trade and economic office in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in the capital of Abu Dhabi, which will be managed by Casroy James, Resident Ambassador designate, reports the Antigua Observer. Foreign Affairs Minister Max Fernandez said yesterday the office is scheduled to be operational in the next six to eight months. “The trade and economic office will serve primarily as an investment promotional agent and will be executing Antigua’s Investment agenda, very much like the agenda being rolled out in the Antigua & Barbuda Consulate in Miami,” Fernandez said. He stated further the agenda includes the active and strategic promotion of investment in the hotel and tourism sector, real estate and home property acquisition, ship or yacht registration, aircraft registration and the dissemination of accurate and timely information on the country’s Citizenship by Investment Programme (CIP). “The government is committed to signing both an investor protection agreement, as well as an avoidance of double taxation agreement with the government of the UAE. The finalisation of these documents will establish the framework necessary to ensure a path for additional investor dollars to our shores,” the minister said.
US Treasury’s Lew challenges EU on corporate tax investigations
The US stepped up a spat with European officials over their investigations of US companies’ tax practices, warning in a letter from the Treasury secretary that they are creating a “disturbing” precedent, report NASDAQ. US Treasury Secretary Jack Lew in the Thursday letter asked European officials to rethink the investigations, saying they “undermine the well-established basis of mutual cooperation and respect that many countries have worked so hard to develop and preserve.” US companies whose tax practices are under investigation include Apple Inc. and Amazon.com Inc. Non-US companies have also been affected. European regulators have been investigating whether individual countries’ tax breaks for certain companies violate rules against excessive “state aid.” If deemed illegal, European officials could then press the countries to recover corporate funds related to the tax breaks. The EU “appears to be adopting an entirely new legal theory and applying it retroactively in a broad and sweeping manner,” Mr Lew wrote in his first extensive comments on the EU-US tax dispute. “This raises serious concerns about fundamental fairness and the finality of tax rulings throughout the entire European Union.” The EU rejected accusations it was discriminating against US companies in their tax probes. “EU law applies indiscriminately to all companies operating in Europe—there is absolutely no bias against US companies,” European Commission spokesman Ricardo Cardoso said. “In its state aid decisions on tax rulings to-date, the commission has ordered member states to recover unpaid taxes mostly from European companies,” he added. EU officials have said they didn’t think the investigations into the tax practices would make Europe a less attractive destination for companies to invest in because the bloc’s single market of 500 million consumers remains a major draw. The EU investigations and potential taxes on U.S.-based companies represent a risk to the US tax base. The more taxes US companies pay overseas after investigations, the more US foreign tax credits they get and the less money the US might get if and when they repatriate foreign profits. While Mr Lew is taking the side of US companies in one respect, he said he is concerned about US companies’ ability to book profits in low-tax countries and leave them there. Mr Lew testified Wednesday at the Senate Finance Committee and the issue didn’t come up. In January, four members of that panel, including Chairman Orrin Hatch (R., Utah) asked Mr. Lew to consider applying a little-known section of the tax code that would allow the US to impose retaliatory double taxes on European citizens and companies. Mr Lew’s letter mentions congressional concerns but not the double tax. Article compliments IFC Review.