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Press releases and law firm thought leadership

This page is dedicated to keeping readers informed of the latest news and thought leadership articles from law firms across the globe.

If your firm wishes to publish press releases or articles, please contact Shehab Khurshid on +44 (0) 207 396 5689 or shehab.khurshid@legalease.co.uk

 

Legal Developments Worldwide

Articles contributed by Kinanis LLC

View the listing for Kinanis LLC

Security Token Offerings (STOs): The Future of Coin Offerings

December 2018 - Finance. Legal Developments by Kinanis LLC.

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The term ICO has been at the epicentre of discussions in the FinTech industry, being the main method of fundraising used by startup companies to develop innovative ideas on the Blockchain technology or other applications using Distributed Ledger Technology (“DLT”).

The Financial Instrument Test

August 2018 - Finance. Legal Developments by Kinanis LLC.

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A. INTRODUCTION

By enacting the Virtual Financial Assets Act (VFAA), the Maltese Government has regulated the Blockchain / ICO / DLT industry. The law appoints the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) as the designated authority to oversee this business.

Since this industry has elements of the Financial Service Regulations (namely MiFID), it is important to clearly distinguish one from the other.

In order to ensure a clear difference, the MFSA has sought to further clarify the instances under which the new legislation applies. It has done this by introducing the Financial Instrument Test, which will be analysed below.

MALTA - ICOs THE NEW LEGISLATION

August 2018 - TMT ( Technology, Media & Telecoms). Legal Developments by Kinanis LLC.

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A. INTRODUCTION

Initial Coin Offering, known as “ICO”, is a relatively new phenomenon that has quickly become the main player in the Financial Services and Crowdfunding industries, as well as being the key subject of discussion in the Blockchain communities. In essence, it is one of the most advanced methods of raising finance from the public and is becoming increasingly popular to fundraise start-ups.

While all jurisdictions are shying away from regulating this industry, Malta has recently introduced a specific regulatory framework for ICOs and has become the first jurisdiction worldwide to regulate ICOs and Blockchain Technology.

This publication in fact seeks to give an overview of the recent laws and regulations relating to ICOs.

MALTA - VIRTUAL FINANCIAL ASSET SERVICES THE NEW LEGISLATION

August 2018 - Finance. Legal Developments by Kinanis LLC.

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A. INTRODUCTION

Blockchain technology has revolutionized the way of doing business globally. In fact, similar to Investment Services, a number of ancillary business activities are now connected to the industry, ejecting the Blockchain technology to endless fields of everyday life.

Instead of shying away from the technological challenge, the Maltese government has adopted legislation that regulates the offering of certain services (known as Virtual Financial Asset Services) to cryptocurrencies, which includes the operation of platforms to exchange such cryptocurrencies, portfolio management and providing investment advice amongst others. This makes Malta a pioneer in this sector and offers legal certainty, to such an extent that following such a commitment from the Government, crypto-giants are already relocating to Malta, seeking to benefit from a regulated environment and a beneficial tax rate.

THE CYPRUS BANKING CRISIS General Court of the European Union Judgments in Cases T-680/13 & T-786/14

July 2018 - Litigation & Dispute Resolution. Legal Developments by Kinanis LLC.

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On 13 July 2018 the General Court of the European Union ("the Court") issued its judgments on the cases T-680/13 and T-786/14 whereby the claims for compensation based on non-contractual liability launched by several individuals and companies in relation to the Cypriot banking sector claiming damages from the European Union have been rejected.

Listing on the Emerging Companies Market of the Cyprus Stock Exchange

June 2018 - Finance. Legal Developments by Kinanis LLC.

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A.     INTRODUCTION

The Cyprus Stock Exchange provides to Cyprus and international companies a unique opportunity to list their shares or bonds on the Emerging Companies Market, a recognised eurozone unregulated exchange, which provides potential investors with an indication that the company is active and transparent, while the cost of listing is low comparing to the regulated market and other jurisdictions.

Brief Outline on Cyprus Taxation on Interest Dividends and Profits from the Sale of Titles

June 2018 - Tax & Private Client. Legal Developments by Kinanis LLC.

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A. General

The below mentioned comments relate only to companies which are tax residents of Cyprus and refer to the worldwide income these companies may have. Precise reference to relevant provisions of the Income Tax Law or Special Defence Contribution Law, examples and definitions of terms used may be found in our separate extensive reports:-

MALTA - ICOs AND DIGITAL INNOVATION TECHNOLOGY - THE IMMINENT REGULATED ENVIRONMENT

June 2018 - Finance. Legal Developments by Kinanis LLC.

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While jurisdictions and legal systems around the world are expressing concern about cryptocurrencies, Malta is promulgating legislation that should give exchange owners and users certainty about the future. The rules are considered to be a one-stop-shop package that will deal with the establishment of a new authority, regulated exchanges and license Initial Coin Offering (ICO) companies and related business. The main aim is to offer legal certainty to the industry.

Initial Coin Offering (ICO) through Cyprus The Tax & VAT aspect

May 2018 - Tax & Private Client. Legal Developments by Kinanis LLC.

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ICOs have recently exploded and become an increasingly popular method of fundraising for start - ups and other companies with the intention to fund innovative projects based on the Blockchain technology.

Initial Coin Offering (ICO) Through Cyprus

March 2018 - Finance. Legal Developments by Kinanis LLC.

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Initial Coin Offering, known as “ICO”, is a relatively new phenomenon in the crowdfunding industry being the main subject of discussion in the Blockchain and financial communities.

The new Prospectus Regulation EU

March 2018 - Tax & Private Client. Legal Developments by Kinanis LLC.

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On 30th June 2017, the European Parliament and the European Council published in the Official Journal of the European Union the Regulation (EU) 2017/1129 on the prospectus to be published when securities are offered to the public or admitted to trading on a regulated market (the “New Prospectus Regulation”).

Relocation and Retirement in Cyprus - The Tax Aspect

March 2018 - Tax & Private Client. Legal Developments by Kinanis LLC.

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Since 2004, Cyprus is a full Member State of the European Union. This fact, along with its good strategic location, highly skilled human capital, excellent infrastructure, reliable communications, relatively low cost of living, sound and stable legal system, warm climate and hospitality of its people, are some of the advantages which contribute to Cyprus’ continuous development as a competitive international financial, tourist, retirement and relocation centre.

The new EU regulation on general data protection 2016/679 (“GDPR”)

March 2018 - TMT ( Technology, Media & Telecoms). Legal Developments by Kinanis LLC.

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A. INTRODUCTION

Globalization has rapidly and radically increased the ease in which data may be collected, stored and transmitted. The current Directive (95/46/EC) is out dated and does not correspond to today’s needs. Various reasons has led to the increased need for a united legal framework in relation to the protection of personal data, including the rapid technological developments, the excessive use of the internet, the use of internet banking, social media and more importantly the ease in which personal data are now made publicly available.

Notional Interest deduction 11/17

November 2017 - Tax & Private Client. Legal Developments by Kinanis LLC.

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Introduction

Via the 2018 Budget Laws, the Maltese Government seeks to introduce new rules regarding deductions of notional interest on risk capital. The aim of the Notional Interest Deduction (NID) is to achieve neutrality between debt and equity financing. Such rules come into effect as from the year of assessment of 2018.

Also in light of the international tax measures such as BEPS, the NID seeks to bring into line the tax treatment of the cost of equity with the cost of debt, since this latter is a tax-deductible expense. With this measure, debt financing is put on the same level playing field with equity financing, as entities now have the option to claim a deduction of a notional interest against their income.

ECJ CASE C-28/26 - RECOVERABILITY OF INPUT VAT OF A HOLDING COMPANY

March 2017 - Tax & Private Client. Legal Developments by Kinanis LLC.

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Case C-28/26 - Examines the right of a holding company to deduct input VAT on services acquired in the interest of its subsidiaries where those services are offered to its subsidiaries with no consideration.

On 12 January 2017, the European Court of Justice delivered its judgment in the case of MVM (C-28/16), concerning the right of MVM to deduct input value added tax (VAT) paid in relation to services procured in the interest of its subsidiaries.

European Commission proposes new VAT rules to support e-commerce and online businesses in the EU

March 2017 - Tax & Private Client. Legal Developments by Kinanis LLC.

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On 1 December 2016, the European Commission has published proposals to improve the Value Added Tax (VAT) environment for e-commerce businesses in the EU. Particularly, the proposed changes, aiming to allow start-ups and SMEs, to buy and sell goods and services more easily online.

Common Reporting Standards - a practical review. (CRS)

February 2017 - Corporate & Commercial. Legal Developments by Kinanis LLC.

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>A. INTRODUCTION

The Common Reporting Standard (CRS) has been initiated by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) aiming at improving international tax compliance and preventing tax evasion, through the automatic exchange of information between the countries that implement CRS. The participating countries are listed in Appendix I.

Article - EU commission proposal on E-commerce

February 2017 - EU & Competition. Legal Developments by Kinanis LLC.

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Article - European Commission proposes new VAT rules to support e-commerce and online businesses in the EU

On 1 December 2016, the European Commission has published proposals to improve the Value Added Tax (VAT) environment for e-commerce businesses in the EU. Particularly, the proposed changes, aiming to allow start-ups and SMEs, to buy and sell goods and services more easily online.

The Malta Individual Investor Programme (MIIP)

January 2017 - Tax & Private Client. Legal Developments by Kinanis LLC.

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A. INTRODUCTION

The whole process to obtain a Malta passport via the Malta Individual Investor Program (MIIP) is divided into a number of stages.

With each stage, different documentation, forms and fees need to be submitted and paid accordingly.

The Malta Individual Investor Programme (MIIP)

January 2017 - Tax & Private Client. Legal Developments by Kinanis LLC.

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A. INTRODUCTION

The whole process to obtain a Malta passport via the Malta Individual Investor Program (MIIP) is divided into a number of stages.

With each stage, different documentation, forms and fees need to be submitted and paid accordingly.

New Double Tax Treaty Between Cyprus & Ukraine

November 2012 - Tax & Private Client. Legal Developments by Kinanis LLC.

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On the 8th of November 2012, the governments of the Republic of Cyprus and the Ukrainian People's Republic concluded a new double tax treaty replacing the 30 year old USSR - Cyprus treaty. The new treaty aims to put an end to the long standing uncertainty that existed in the future investment relationship between the two countries and to create a new framework that will ensure that a stable tax environment will exist in the years to come.

Cyprus – The Ultimate Royalty and Holding Structure Jurisdiction

May 2012 - Tax & Private Client. Legal Developments by Kinanis LLC.

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In May 2012 the Cypriot House of Representatives voted on certain amendments to various tax laws aiming to establish Cyprus as the ultimate royalty and holding structure jurisdiction.

The most important change in the law is the creation of a specific tax regime for companies owning any kind of intellectual property right out of which royalty income is generated, making “The Cyprus Royalty Company” the best vehicle for holding intangible assets

- Kinanis LLC

May 2012 – Tax Department of Kinanis LLC

Cyprus yacht registration- New Preferable VAT Treatment

May 2012 - Tax & Private Client. Legal Developments by Kinanis LLC.

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In March 2012 the Cyprus VAT Authority launched a special scheme making Cyprus as one of the most attractive EU jurisdictions for yacht registration.

This new favorable VAT scheme requires a Cyprus company to enter into a lease agreement of a yacht with a third party, paying VAT only on a predetermined percentage of the time that the yacht is deemed to sail within EU waters, hence reducing the effective VAT rate down to only 4,42% when taking into account as well the required profit condition.

- Kinanis LLC

May 2012 – Accounting & VAT Division of Kinanis LLC

Cyprus International Trusts Reborn

May 2012 - Corporate & Commercial. Legal Developments by Kinanis LLC.

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In March 2012, the Parliament of Cyprus enacted the long awaited International Trust (Amending) law of 2012 effecting various structural changes to the International Trust law of 1992.

The amendments were necessary to adapt the Cyprus law on International Trusts, to the current needs of international investors and at the same time strengthening the role of Cyprus as a trust jurisdiction.

- Kinanis LLC

May 2012 - Corporate Division of Kinanis LLC

New Tax Measures voted in December 2011 by the House of Representatives of Cyprus

January 2012 - Tax & Private Client. Legal Developments by Kinanis LLC.

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In December 2011 the Parliament of Cyprus voted on certain amendments to various Tax Laws aimed at increasing the revenues of the government as well as reducing government expenditure. Most of the amendments affect residents of Cyprus and were designed in such a way so not to affect Cyprus’ position as an international business center.

- Kinanis LLC

January 2012 – Tax Department of Kinanis LLC

Criteria and conditions for the grant of citizenship to foreign investors and businessmen

December 2011 - Real Estate & Property. Legal Developments by Kinanis LLC.

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On the 10th of October 2011 the Council of Ministers of Cyprus issued a new decision laying out the criteria and conditions for the granting of Cypriot citizenship by exemption, aiming to attract wealthy businessmen and foreign investors, who desire easier access beyond their borders. By virtue of the new decision the threshold values of the direct investments, entrepreneurial activities, and bank deposits have decreased considerably.

- Kinanis LLC

December 2011 – Property Division of Kinanis LLC

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NEW TAX LEGISLATION-FIXED ANNUAL CHARGE ON COMPANIES

September 2011 - Tax & Private Client. Legal Developments by Kinanis LLC.

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In August 2011 the Parliament of Cyprus voted certain amendments to the Companies’ Law as well as various Tax Laws aimed at increasing the revenues of the Government as well as reducing government expenditure. The amendments include the imposition of a fixed annual charge for all Cyprus registered companies as well as the increase in applicable tax rates of Special Defence Contribution Tax on interest and dividends.

- Kinanis LLC

BACK TO BACK LOANS BETWEEN RELATED PARTIES

July 2011 - Tax & Private Client. Legal Developments by Kinanis LLC.

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In July 2011 the Commissioner of Inland Revenue Office provided guidance on the minimum acceptable profit margins on back to back loans between related companies. Much of the guidance provided was already applied in practice before, but nevertheless this is the first time that an official confirmation in given. In addition, the guidance clears some grey areas of the Income Tax law that existed in the past.

-Kinanis LLC

July 2011 – Tax Department of Kinanis LLC

Recent amendments in Tax Legislation in Cyprus

February 2011 - Tax & Private Client. Legal Developments by Kinanis LLC.

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The House of Representatives of Cyprus has voted in December 2010 several amendments to the current tax legislation for the prevention of tax evasion and tax avoidance.

Recent Developments on the Double Tax Treaty between Cyprus & Russia – Protocol signed on the 7th

October 2010 - Tax & Private Client. Legal Developments by Kinanis LLC.

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On the 7th of October 2010, officials representing the Republic of Cyprus and the Russian Federation concluded and signed a Protocol to the 1998 Double Tax Treaty between the two countries. The Protocol amends 10 existing articles of the Double Tax Treaty and introduces one new. With the new Protocol, Cyprus still remains the most favourable route for investments into Russia and ensures that Cyprus is removed from the Russian black list of “Offshore Jurisdictions”.

NEW Tax Legislation on Shipping Activities – The Tonnage Tax System

August 2010 - Tax & Private Client. Legal Developments by Kinanis LLC.

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Cyprus has recently introduced new tax legislation regulating the taxation of income from shipping activities which will have a retrospective applicability as from 1 January 2010. The Law introduces the Tonnage Tax System (“TTS”) which imposes taxation according to the tonnage of the ships owned, managed or chartered and not according to the profit on shipping activities. Certain conditions must be met in order for a ship-owner / ship manager or a charterer to be qualified to be taxed under the tonnage tax system.

- Kinanis LLC

Кипрская компания

August 2010 - Corporate & Commercial. Legal Developments by Kinanis LLC.

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Кипрская компания - Регистрация и администрация -Практические вопросы

С её предпочтительной налоговой системой, поддержанной с многочисленными соглашениями об избежании двойного налогообложения, и со стабильной, легко управляемой правовой системой, основанной на английском Общем Праве, Кипрская Компания стала ценным средством в международном налоговом планировании. Она стала инструментом, который  часто используют международные инвесторы, чтобы самым эффективным образом осуществлять свои инвестиционные возможности.

- Kinanis LLC

ZYPRISCHES STEUERRECHT FÜR UNTERNEHMEN (VORGEHENSWEISE AUSLÄNDISCHER INVESTOREN)

August 2010 - Tax & Private Client. Legal Developments by Kinanis LLC.

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Mit dem vereinfachten und modernisierten Steuersystem verfügt Zypern über ein hochgradig wettbewerbsfähiges Steuersystem und fördert dieses. Es sollte von internationalen Investoren bei jedem Schritt im Hinblick auf internationale Steuerplanungsstrukturen genau berücksichtigt werden.

Value Added Tax (VAT) and Cyprus Companies (The International Investors’ Approach)

July 2010 - Tax & Private Client. Legal Developments by Kinanis LLC.

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The report covers in detail the Cyprus VAT Law and its practical implementation with Cyprus companies viewed from the International Investors' angle.

It is a very good manual for those interested to elaborate this delicate matter and especially it will be helpful to those who constantly are faced with VAT issues involving Cyprus companies and EU VAT rules. 

- Kinanis LLC

THE CYPRUS PUBLIC COMPANY (The vehicle for IPOs and Listings in Stock Exchanges)

May 2010 - Tax & Private Client. Legal Developments by Kinanis LLC.

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The favorable tax regime of Cyprus in conjunction with the numerous double tax treaties Cyprus has signed and its flexible management and corporate procedures, has created a unique environment for Cyprus public companies giving to the international investor a suitable vehicle for public offerings and listings of their securities, debentures or other titles in European and international markets. - Kinanis LLC