The majority of new tax regulations introduced in 2012 revolved around increasing tax rate for multinationals, Taxand, a global tax advisory revealed in a recent report. According to Taxand’s 2012 Tax Milestone Survey, which consulted advisors from 36 countries around the world, although tax reforms intended to attract more inward FDI were introduced in some countries, governments were more active in introducing measures to secure additional revenues for their crisis-burdened budgets.
The report pointed to measures in France, where limitations on carrying forward losses on company profits have been reinforced, Belgium, where capital gains tax was introduced on shares held for less than 12 months, and Spain and Sweden, where interest cost deductibility was limited.
Additionally, advisors surveyed for Taxand’s report said that countries across the globe did little to simplify their tax regimes in 2012. Surprisingly, Greece, the most crisis-ridden country in Europe, is said by the report to have made the most encouraging changes in taxation in 2012. According to Taxand, Greece took commendable steps to overhaul and streamline fiscal provisions and quicken the country’s dispute resolution procedures.
Apart from recognising Greece’s efforts to improve its tax regime, Taxand also highlighted countries including Italy, Ireland and the UK, all of which had made efforts to implement steps to attract crossborder investments. Italy launched tax reliefs for high-tech start-ups, Ireland lowered tax rate for foreign dividends received in the country and the UK presented new controlled foreign company rules, which according to Taxand, are set to make the country more attractive for holding companies. Finland, Japan, Korea, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK were also praised by Taxand for their reductions in the headline rate of corporate income tax.