x

Society

Cyprus Disputes OECD On Tax Record

Already struggling with a growing economic crisis and the near-failure of its state banks, Cyprus’ government said a poor rating it received from Europe’s leading financial monitoring agency on tax transparency was undeserved.

The Paris-based Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) said that Cyprus, which has long had the dubious reputation of being a money-laundering tax haven for crime and tax cheats in other countries, fell short of international best practice on tax transparency. Cypriot efforts at reform “warranted a higher rating being assigned,” the ministry said in a statement.

Cyprus, Luxembourg, Switzerland, the British Virgin Islands and the Seychelles were all criticized for aspects of their tax administration by the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes.

The forum is overseen by the OECD which said the countries, long seen as places where the rich stash their cash, either failed to share taxpayer information with other countries effectively or to gather information on who benefited from ownership of corporations within their borders.

Cyprus came under pressure earlier this year to reform its financial system as a condition of getting a 10 billion euro ($13.67 billion) bailout after its banks were brought toward ruin by bad loans to Greek businesses that failed and big holdings in devalued Greek bonds, losing 4.5 billion euros ($6.11 billion).

German lawmakers in particular criticized Cyprus as a tax haven for wealthy Russians, who lost 47.5 percent of their bank accounts under a government-imposed confiscation scheme.

But in return for taking much of their money, Cyprus gave major depositors shares in state banks, leading to many Russians being on the board of Bank of Cyprus and having a big say in how it operates now.

In its statement, the Cypriot Finance Ministry said the OECD didn’t consider legislative changes made last year or improve information available on companies, nor consider how the country had to cope with demand for information from other jurisdictions.

During the next review in 2014, assessors would note a “very significant improvement,” the ministry said, and improve Cyprus’s rating considerably.

RELATED

NICOSIA - A group of 27 refugees from Syria, the Middle East, Asia and Africa are caught in the United Nations’ patrolled buffer zone on the border between the Greek-Cypriot and Turkish-occupied side of the island, unable to move either way.

Top Stories

Columnists

A pregnant woman was driving in the HOV lane near Dallas.

General News

NEW YORK – Meropi Kyriacou, the new Principal of The Cathedral School in Manhattan, was honored as The National Herald’s Educator of the Year.

Video

1 of 2 Abducted Louisiana Children is Found Dead in Mississippi after Their Mother is Killed

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — A Louisiana woman was found dead in her home Thursday, and her two young daughters were abducted and found hours later in Mississippi — one dead and the other alive, police said.

Today, I will talk about a food that I associate with summer, shellfish, as that is their ‘season’ in the Mediterranean.

THRU AUGUST 4 STOCKBRIDGE, MA – ‘Microcosms: A Solo Exhibition of Selected Works’ by Peter D.

LONDON - A second generation Greek-Cypriot in London, Georgina Hayden has used her heritage to write cookbooks showing off recipes from her homeland and her latest, Greekish, offers everything from Baklava cheesecake to Burnt Butter Eggs and Goat’s Cheese.

The two biggest wastes of time this election year are reminders that Joe Biden’s cognitive skills are in freefall and that Donald Trump’s a convicted felon.

Enter your email address to subscribe

Provide your email address to subscribe. For e.g. [email protected]

You may unsubscribe at any time using the link in our newsletter.