Central Europe: Government policies push firms to tax havens
9 August 2012
SME, Hospodářské Noviny
“The number of Slovak firms registered in tax havens rose in the first half of this year by more than 7%”, writes SME, citing a Czech Capital Information Agency (ČEKIA) report. According to the Slovak daily, it is a result of “fears of an increasing tax burden” and other measures imposed by Prime Minister Robert Fico’s socialist government. Slovak companies prefer to flee to Holland, Cyprus and Luxembourg, but also to neighbouring Hungary. The newspaper adds –
In an effort to prevent tax evasion, Fico has made it a condition that any bailout provided to Cyprus will only go through if Nicosia provides a list of Slovak citizens resident in the country.
A similar exodus can be seen in the more business-friendly Czech Republic, where corporations opt for tax havens mainly in Cyprus, the Bahamas and the US, in order to keep its ownership structures secret and to enjoy a better legal environment, reports Hospodářské noviny. According to the Prague business daily, already more than 300 firms left this year and many more are expected to follow.