Business & Finance
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Major economies continue to dominate the global ranking of the richest countries, with one nation’s private fortunes jumping by $200 billion (€177 billion) in six months alone, according to a new report released on Tuesday.
New World Wealth ranked the different countries according to the total amount of wealth, including property, cash, equities and business interests, held by all individuals as of June 2016. At least three countries from Asia appeared on the list, while four from Europe made it to the rankings.
Accumulating $48.9 trillion (€43 trillion) in wealth, the United States topped the overall list, followed by China, Japan, the United Kingdom and Germany in the top five. Rounding up the top ten are France, India, Canada, Australia and Italy.
Analysts are impressed by Australia’s showing in the top ten, considering that the country only has a population of 22 million. Australia, as well as Canada, has also overtaken Italy over the past 12 months, while China posted the fastest wealth growth over the past 15 years.
In terms of wealth held per person, European countries dominated the global rankings, with Monaco taking the number one spot. As of June 2016, the average person in Monaco owns $1.6 million (€1.42 million) in wealth, the highest in the world, reports New World Wealth, which also said the high average of wealth of Monaco’s residents can be attributed to the country’s tax-free regime. (Source: Gulf News)
The Hôtel de Paris Monte-Carlo has received a 5th star, the highest level, in the international rankings of the esteemed Forbes Travel Guide 2020.
AS Monaco has announced the arrival of Markus Breglec and Tyson Henly as Chief Marketing Officer and Chief Commercial Officer respectively.
Moët Hennessy has just announced they will be shifting to organic and sustainable practices, going so far as creating a ‘University of Living Soils’.
The financial markets’ focus this week will remain divided between economic fundamentals and the uncertainty around the coronavirus outbreak. On the data front, the week is due to be relatively quiet.
UK-based accountants and advisers will face tough new rules if the Treasury presses ahead with a tightening of regulations. Professionals who help people bend the rules to gain a tax advantage that Parliament never intended face tougher fines under new penalties proposed by the UK Treasury. A fine of up to 100% of the tax that was avoided – including via offshore havens – has been suggested in the new rules, which have been published for consultation, the UK press reports.
Currently those who advise on tax face little risk, while their clients face penalties only if they lose in court. The rules would “root out” tax avoidance at source, the Treasury said. The rules in the consultation document also make it simpler to enforce penalties when avoidance schemes are defeated.
“These tough new sanctions will make would-be enablers think twice and in turn reduce the number of schemes on the market,” said the Financial Secretary to the Treasury, Jane Ellison.
Until now HM Revenue and Customs has concentrated on tackling the individuals who don’t pay their tax, while advisers and promoters of tax avoiding schemes have remained shadowy figures in the background.
The intention is that will stop once there is a penalty for the professionals involved of up to 100% of the amount avoided in a scheme.
The government isn’t targeting legitimate ways of cutting tax bills, such as tax breaks for putting money in pensions or Individual Savings Accounts.
The avoidance it’s trying to root out involves bending the rules to gain a tax advantage that Parliament never intended, an alleged abuse which costs nearly £3 billion a year. Accountants see the move as a significant change, which could result in them paying fines even if the advice they give isn’t illegal.
Following the Panama Papers scandal, the five largest economies in the European Union, the UK, Germany, France, Italy and Spain, agreed to share information on secret owners of businesses and trusts. The Treasury said the move would make it harder for businesses and wealthy individuals to operate without paying correct taxes.
Speaking in July, new Prime Minister Theresa May pledged to crack down on tax avoidance, saying “tax is the price we pay for living in a civilised society”.
She said at the time, “It doesn’t matter to me whether you’re Amazon, Google or Starbucks, you have a duty to put something back, you have a debt to fellow citizens and you have a responsibility to pay your taxes.”
However, earlier this month the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Responsible Tax accused the government of undermining efforts to end tax secrecy and said it should force multinational companies such as Google to publish information on their activities in every country where they operate.