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.


The rates of value added tax (VAT) in France, effective 1 January 2014, are as follows:

  • The standard 19.6% VAT rate is increased to 20%.
  • The intermediary 7% VAT rate has been increased to 10%.
  • The 8% rate applicable in Corsica has been increased to 10%.

On 28 January 2014, President Obama delivered his fifth State of the Union Address.

In his speech, President Barack Obama provided few new ideas on tax reform, but included the corporate tax cut arrangements he has proposed many times before since 2012.

President Obama again put forward the plan to eliminate corporate "tax loopholes" and provide for a minimum tax on foreign earnings, while lowering the top corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 28 percent.



On 12 December 2013, Vladimir Putin delivered the annual Presidential Address to the Federal Assembly. Mr. President announced a set of initiatives to crack down on Russian companies who register and pay taxes in offshore jurisdictions. And now the proposal to prohibit Russian companies registered in offshore jurisdictions to bid at state tenders is being implemented at the legislative level.

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