THE mining sector taxation system has loopholes that could result in mining companies operating in the country committing tax fraud, a new study has shown.

According to "The Extractive Industry in Zimbabwe: An Evaluation of Trends in Corporate Social Investments, Taxes Paid, Stakeholder Participation and Linkages to Service Delivery of Local Authorities (2009-2014)" report, regulatory authorities themselves feel that the taxing system for the mining sector could be tighter.

The report was carried out by the Institute for Sustainability Africa in conjunction with Oxfam.

Reads part of the report: "Interviews with the regulatory authorities indicated major concern on transfer pricing, trade mis-pricing, over invoicing of imports and under invoicing of exports by extractive companies as major issues contributing to tax avoidance.

Infrastructure is designed to be funded through shared taxation. Example: Illinois employs tolling for use of their highways. Users pay according to usage. Without discrimination, all people and businesses benefit. Taxes collected are spent to further improve highways. Businesses send vehicles across those improved roadways, increasing interstate commerce.

Georgia and South Korea are stepping up bilateral cooperation to avoid double taxation, boost investments and increase economic cooperation.

Georgia's Finance Minister Nodar Khaduri plans to visit South Korea and sign a cooperation agreement on avoidance of double taxation, prevention of evasion of income and capital taxes.

Double taxation is the levying of tax by two or more jurisdictions on the same declared income (in the case of income taxes), assets (in the case of capital taxes), or financial transaction (in the case of sales taxes). This double liability is often mitigated by tax treaties between countries.

The main goal of signing the agreement was to increase economic cooperation between the countries and attract more investments, noted Georgia's Finance Ministry.

Meanwhile, today Khaduri hosted South Korean charge daffaires in Georgia Kim In-hwan. At the meeting the South Korean official said Georgia was an attractive country for South Korean investments.

In the near future a group representing Korean companies will visit Georgia and explore the investment opportunities, announced Georgia's Finance Ministry.

Khaduri said he would introduce Georgia's taxation system in detail to the potential investors.

He added Georgia enjoyed active cooperation with South Korean financial institutions Exim Bank and Korean Development Agency.

Currently Georgia has treaties with 52 countries to ensure the avoidance of double taxation.

Recently Georgia also signed the same agreement on avoiding double taxation with Iceland and Belarus.

Three recent decisions (March 3, 2016) by a New York State Division of Tax Appeals administrative law judge help to clarify the taxation of unauthorized insurance companies subject to New York State taxation.

New York State has over recent years changed in certain significant regards both the substantive law and its interpretation of such law in respect of the applicable distinctions related to the taxation of authorized and unauthorized insurance companies subject to its jurisdiction. While state law provides specifically for both an insurance franchise type of tax and an insurance premium type of tax, the determination of which of these taxes applies to authorized and/or unauthorized insurers has historically been less than clear. In particular, the potential applicability of a cap on an insurers aggregate tax liability, calculated as a function of gross premiums received, to unauthorized insurers has been a recurrent issue.

The above-referenced opinions clarify that unauthorized insurance companies subject to New York State taxation (both life and non-life) are subject to the insurance franchise tax rather than the premium tax. Further, the opinions provide that unauthorized non-life insurance companies are not able to avail themselves of the above-described cap on their liability calculated under this tax regime. While the administrative law judge determined alternatively that an unauthorized life insurance company would be able to avail itself of this cap feature of the law, this was in deference to a Department of Taxation administrative decision which allowed this cap to apply to such companies for pre-2012 tax years. Query whether a similar determination would be made for years beginning on or after January 1, 2012 (to which this Department of Taxation administrative decision would not apply). The rationale applied to the non-life insurance companies by the ALJ would likely indicate that such cap would not apply for post-2011 tax years.

While lending some clarity to the situation, it is nonetheless important to note that these determinations do not serve as precedent, and could be appealed to the New York State Tax Appeals Tribunal.

We will continue to monitor developments in this area.