Sunday, March 31, 2013

NY Times: Following Cyprus bank closings, Other Tax Havens step in

by Bill McBride on 3/31/2013 07:10:00 PM

From the NY Times: As Banks in Cyprus Falter, Other Tax Havens Step In

“We are aware of the economic problems facing Cyprus at the moment,” read one such message from a law firm in Malta, also a euro zone member. “We would like to propose an avenue of action for your consideration: offering corporate relocation to Malta,” continued the business pitch, trumpeting Malta’s low taxes and “flexible yet robust regime” for financial services.

Similar unsolicited offers have originated in well-known havens like Switzerland, Luxembourg and the Cayman Islands, as well as in a host of other locations, including Dubai and Singapore. ...

Particularly successful at luring Russians, Cyprus has built up a large infrastructure of lawyers, accountants and other professionals schooled in the arts of tax avoidance. Its corporate registry now has 320,000 registered companies, a staggering number for a country with only 860,000 people. Most are shells set up for foreign companies and wealthy individuals seeking to avoid taxes.
Meet the new tax haven, same as the old tax haven!

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