THE STATE has imposed a special tax on trading of Slovak companies with tax havens. Within eight large tax-related changes adopted by parliament in late 2013, the state increased the common tax rate of 19 percent to 35 percent on payments of companies with offshore accounts, the online edition of the Trend weekly reported in early January.
In this way, the Slovak government wants to tax more companies which optimise their tax duties via offshore countries, i.e. countries outside the European Union, the European Economic Area and countries with which Slovakia has not signed a double taxation preventing agreement, an agreement on the exchange of tax-related information or countries which participate in an agreement containing regulations about the exchange of information for tax purposes.
However, experts are sceptical about the benefits of this change, as companies do not optimise directly via offshore countries. They reduce their tax duties through transferring incomes via a country with a more advantageous tax regime, but with which Slovakia has signed the double taxation prevention agreement.
Popular countries used by Slovaks for tax optimisation are Cyprus and the Netherlands.
3. Mar 2014 at 0:00 | Compiled by Spectator staff