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The Winding Road to Transparency

The Winding Road to Transparency

At a recent gallery opening, the host turned to his companions: “Transparency is a good thing, but not always the truth. The truth is what we see.” He wasn’t speaking about politics, of course, but about art. Still the statement resonated. While the EU thinks that opening up all bank account information will be a […]

EU fights tax evasion

EU fights tax evasion

Legal loopholes, tax dodges, and secretive banking practices in Austria and Luxembourg are costing the Eurozone approximately €1 trillion in lost tax revenue every year. Now EU leaders are pledging to crack down. The European Parliament issued a resolution on 21 May urging the EU to halve annual losses by 2020. Officials from across the […]

The Slovak Fiscal Paradise Ends in a Hotel Ballroom

The Slovak Fiscal Paradise Ends in a Hotel Ballroom

On 13 November, Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico was scheduled to speak at the Forbes Business-Government Dialogue conference in Bratislava. Instead, Fico sent a video to the business and diplomatic leaders, astonishing the influential blue chip group painstakingly assembled by the American Chamber of Commerce. Fico’s enormous projected image told the room he was too […]

Copy-Paste Communism

The initiative Kunst hat Recht (Art is in the Right) has launched a debate about copyright in Austria. Finally! Twenty-seven artists and agents took to the streets in October to name-and-shame those preventing the compensating of damages from illegal downloading and file sharing of copyrighted material. The targets were the Austrian Chamber of Labour (AK) and Chamber […]

Expatriated: Leaving the Land of the Free

Expatriated: Leaving the Land of the Free

Since 1996, the United States Treasury has been required to publish a quarterly list of people who give up citizenship or permanent residency. The process, undertaken by 1,800 people in 2011, is called expatriation. With the U.S. elections coming up in November, one issue on Americans’ minds home and abroad is taxes: Who should be […]

FATCA: The Long Arm of the U.S. Tax Law

FATCA: The Long Arm of the U.S. Tax Law

U.S. tax consultant James C. Sexton has come to Vienna on a mission: To educate Americans about their new obligations to the Internal Revenue Service. And there is plenty to learn. “This is the first time there has been legislation enacted where you have foreign banks [acting] basically as IRS agents,” he said, “just like […]

Taxing the Expats

U.S. citizens living abroad are required to file income tax returns. The United States is in fact the only industrialized country in the world that taxes its citizens’ income overseas. Now, in hopes of upping federal tax revenue, the IRS is heightening controls abroad. Americans working abroad have long been protected, at least to some […]

Taxing the Rich

Taxing the Rich

The Rich Speak, Sept. 25 by Christine Imlinger, Helene Sorgner, and Jakob Zirm    Master of the Woods: Esterházy-nephew Stefan Ottrubay can imagine paying a wealth tax, but only under certain conditions..  “Stefan Ottrubay manages one of Austria’s biggest fortunes. As the nephew of Melinda Esterházy, he belongs to the family that owns 110,000 acres of […]

Banking Secrecy

“Bank Secrecy Bites the Dust in Europe” – Newsweek. “Switzerland, Luxembourg, Austria Loosen Secrecy Rules” – Bloomberg. “Tax Havens Give in to EU Pressure” – Spiegel ONLINE. Has banking secrecy finally come to an end? This is what newspapers seem to be saying. But is it true, or should these headlines be punctuated with a […]

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