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Slower growth in interest in tax haven

SLOVAK companies with an owner seated in a tax haven numbered 3,853 at the end of 2013. While this represents an annual increase by 5.68 percent, or 207 companies, the interest of Slovak businesses in relocating decreased moderately, as in 2012 this was 553 companies more than in 2011. Consultancy firm Bisnode ascribes this to the pressure of the European Union and the US on tax havens, but also to legislative change in the Seychelles, once a popular tax heaven, the SITA newswire wrote in late January.

SLOVAK companies with an owner seated in a tax haven numbered 3,853 at the end of 2013. While this represents an annual increase by 5.68 percent, or 207 companies, the interest of Slovak businesses in relocating decreased moderately, as in 2012 this was 553 companies more than in 2011. Consultancy firm Bisnode ascribes this to the pressure of the European Union and the US on tax havens, but also to legislative change in the Seychelles, once a popular tax heaven, the SITA newswire wrote in late January.

“The [legislation] partly takes away from this destination the status of an administratively undemanding tax haven, protecting the identity of companies’ owners,” Milan Seliak of Bisnode said, as cited by SITA.

Bisnode expects the situation this year to develop similarly to 2013 and does not anticipate a dramatic drop in interest.

“Businesspeople will try to find new opportunities for securing anonymity, protection of property or reduction of taxes,” Seliak said, adding that Czech businesspeople, for example, began focusing on the Marshall Islands. “We also expect that the interest of Slovaks in the Marshall Islands will increase in the coming year and that this country will become preferred, especially because of the swiftness in launching companies, securing maximum anonymity and data confidentiality on companies and their owners.”

The US reported the biggest absolute increase, when 99 companies relocated to this country in 2013.
The number of companies with owners based in Luxembourg and Cyprus continued to decrease, by 38 and 12 companies, respectively.

“Contrary to Czechs, Slovak businesspeople are leaving Cyprus,” said Seliak, adding that they are affected by the crisis and the unstable situation.

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