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Obama Prescribes Healthcare Plan To Nation

Thursday, February 25, 2010

With the US healthcare reform legislation currently becalmed in Congress, President Obama has outlined some new proposals, including refinements to revenue raising measures, ahead of a bipartisan meeting on health reform to be held in Washington on Thursday, February 25.

The President claims that his proposals will make health care more affordable for families and small business owners by providing "the largest middle class tax cuts for health care in American history." Tens of millions of families will benefit from new tax credits, he says, which will help them reduce their premium costs and purchase insurance. However, taxpayers earning more than USD200,000 a year will see their taxes rise.

Obama's proposals include an additional 0.9% rise Hospital Insurance tax for households with incomes exceeding USD200,000 for singles and USD250,000 for married couples filing jointly. In addition, it would add a 2.9% tax for such high-income households to unearned income including interest, dividends, annuities, royalties and rents, excluding income from active participation in S corporations.

Under current law, workers who earn a salary pay a flat tax of 1.45% of their wages to support the Medicare Hospital Insurance trust fund, but those who have substantial unearned income do not, raising issues of fairness.

This differs from the main revenue raising proposals in the version of the health care legislation approved by the House of Representatives last November - a surtax on individuals with annual adjusted gross income (AGI) of USD500,000 and on couples with annual AGI of USD1m.

The main revenue raiser in the health bill approved by the Senate in December is a 40% excise tax on high-end "Cadillac" health insurance plans. Obama's proposals also include this excise tax, but raises the threshold point at which the tax kicks in to USD27,500 for families (up from USD23,000 in the Senate plan) and USD10,200 for singles (up from USD8,500), starting in 2018. The tax would be adjusted at the consumer price index plus one thereafter.

The President argues that the insurance company excise tax "will help to reduce the long-term cost growth of health care and help to increase workers’ after-tax wages as insurance companies respond to increased competition by offering more cost-effective insurance plans for employers." However, Labor unions, some with strong links to Democrat lawmakers in the House, have complained that the excise tax will disadvantage many middle-class taxpayers.

The President's proposals will also impose fees on various sectors of the health industry, intended to recapture some of the benefits they get as more Americans purchase health insurance. These include: a fee on branded prescription drug pharmaceutical companies in proportion to their federal sales; an excise tax on medical devices; an annual fee on health insurance companies; and an excise tax on indoor tanning services.

Like the versions of the legislation currently sitting in Congress, Obama has included proposals improve enforcement and close 'loopholes' in the tax code. These measures include: expanding corporate information reporting requirements; closing the loophole that allows certain byproducts of paper production to be eligible for the cellulosic biofuels producer credit; and helping prevent tax shelters by clarifying the definition of when activities have true “economic substance” beyond saving tax.

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The Report

Offshore Trusts Guide: Introduction

The History of Offshore Trusts
Development of Professional Competence in the Jurisdictions
What Future for the Trust?
The New Age of Transparency
The Swiss Association of Trust Companies
The Society of Trusts and Estates Practitioners

Offshore Trusts Guide: Jurisdictions

Bahamas

Bahamas: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Bahamas: 2006 Private Trust Companies Legislation

Barbados

Barbados: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Barbados: Supervisory and Licensing Regime and Fees

Bermuda

Bermuda: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Bermuda: Supervisory and Licensing Regime and Fees

British Virgin Islands

British Virgin Islands: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
British Virgin Islands: Special Trusts Act 2003
British Virgin Islands: The Trustee Act 2003
British Virgin Islands: :Supervisory and Licensing Regime and Fees
British Virgin Islands: New Laws on Private Trust Companies
British Virgin Islands: New Private Trust Company Regulations

Cayman Islands

Cayman Islands: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Cayman Islands: Supervisory and Licensing Regime and Fees

Cook Islands

Cook Islands: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Cook Islands: Supervisory and Licensing Regime and Fees

Cyprus

Cyprus: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Cyprus: Supervision, Licensing and Tax

Gibraltar

Gibraltar: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Gibraltar: Legislation, Regulation and Supervision

Guernsey

Guernsey: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Guernsey: Trusts Law 2007

Isle of Man

Isle of Man: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Isle of Man: Supervisory and Licensing Regime
Isle of Man: Uses Clients and Tax Treatment

Jersey

Jersey: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Jersey: Supervisory and Licensing Regime
Jersey: Trusts Amendment Act 2006
Jersey: Foundations

Liechtenstein

Liechtenstein: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Liechtenstein: Regulation Supervision and Transparency
Liechtenstein: Characteristics of Liechtenstein Trusts
Liechtenstein: Foundations

Madeira

Madeira: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees

Malta

Malta: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Malta: The Trust and Trustees Act 2004

Mauritius

Mauritius: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Mauritius: Characteristics of the 2001 Trusts Act
Mauritius: Additional Provisions of the 2001 Trusts Act
Mauritius: Tax Treatment

Monaco

Monaco: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees

Nevis

Nevis: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees

Panama

Panama: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Panama: Requirements for Acting as Trust Company in Panama

Seychelles

Seychelles: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees

Turks & Caicos

Turks & Caicos: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Turks & Caicos: The Voidable Dispositions Ordinance

Vanuatu

Vanuatu Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees




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