On 10 February 2014 the Prime Minister of Russia Dmitry Medvedev signed the Government Directive No. 162-r that approved the Roadmap for improving tax administration in Russia (the “Roadmap”).

The Roadmap is aimed at improving Russia’s position in the World Bank’s Doing Business ratings. Russia was ranked 64th in relation to paying taxes in 2013 and now it is planned to reach 50th by 2015 and 40th by 2018.


On 24 February 2014 amendments to Federal Tax Law 2014 (Abgabenänderungsgesetz 2014) were passed by the National Assembly of Austria.


26 February 2014 European Parliament supported a new standard VAT return proposed by EU Commission. The aim of this initiative is to ease tax compliance and make tax administrations across the Union more efficient as a commitment to the Commission's Regulatory Fitness and Performance Programme (REFIT).


In Singapore, stamp duty is payable on instruments relating to the acquisition, disposal, lease or mortgage of real estate property, and on the acquisition or mortgage of stocks or shares. The following tax changes to Singapore’s stamp duty rate regime were announced by Minister for Finance, Mr. Tharman Shanmugaratnam, in his Budget Statement for the Financial Year 2014, which was delivered in Parliament on 21 February 2014.


The Federation Council, the upper house of Russian parliament, intends to discuss de-offshorisation laws on a priority basis during the spring session. 


The British Virgin Islands proposed new legislation seeks to penalize for data leaks in the financial services industry, but may also deter individuals who leak secret data and media houses who publish those leaks from divulging certain types of information.


On 29 January 2014, a revised draft bill of the 2014 Tax Amendment Act (Abgabenänderungsgesetz 2014) was forwarded to the Austrian Parliament. The revised draft bill modifies the initial draft law with amendments to certain Austrian Tax Acts that was published on 9 January 2014.


The new Companies Ordinance (the new CO) was passed by the Legislative Council on 12 July 2012 and will come into force on 3 March 2014.


Bank of Cyprus (BoC) on Thursday, 30 January 2014, announced the release of some €900 million that were held in fixed-term deposits, blocked following the lender’s recapitalisation in July 2013. The decision concerns the six-month time deposits that matured on January 31.

The move was made after consultations with the Ministry of Finance and the Central bank of Cyprus. The decision was taken due to a significant improvement in the bank’s liquidity in the last few months and the stabilization of the deposit base.

Through its decision the Bank’s management recognizes the improving trust and confidence towards the Bank by its customers and, in tandem, meets the expectations of the general public in Cyprus for enhancing the liquidity in the economy.

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