Thursday, December 11, 2008

Links - Dec 11

** Also see TJN's searchable news archive, and Offshore Watchfor more stories. **

France To Sign Bilateral Tax Agreement With Switzerland,
Dec 10 ( - During recent discussions with Swiss President Pascal Couchepin (pictured), French Prime Minister François Fillon revealed firm plans to conclude a bilateral tax agreement between Switzerland and France

Reprieve for Tax Shelter Is in Proposed Bailout for Detroit
Dec 10 (NY Times) - A little-noticed provision in the proposed bailout plan for Detroit’s automakers blesses an aggressive tax shelter sold by large banks and insurers to municipal transit agencies across the country.

Shedding Feudalism, a Channel Island Fights Over Its Future
Dec 10 (NY Times) - First ever elections in Sark. The shift to democracy has been marred by extraordinary amounts of bad blood and ill will. On one side are the people who feel that Sark, with no income taxes, should be left to make its own decisions. The other side supports the development plans of a pair of reclusive identical-twin British billionaires who have bought up more than one-fifth of Sark in the last few years.

Swiss Bank Secrecy In Toughest Test Since Nazi Gold
Dec 10 (Reuters) - With Washington joining Germany to press for an end to a code they believe helps tax dodgers, many see it as only a matter of time before the Swiss lift the cloak guarding the secrets of the world's wealthy. "The challenge to bank secrecy is a thunderstorm which has been brewing since the holocaust money,"

French writer says he's a "mosquito" in arms trial
Dec 9 (Reuters) - Sulitzer told the court Falcone had wired money to offshore accounts or handed him wads of cash. He said the legal moves against him were out of proportion to the crime. “They are trying to kill a mosquito with a nuclear bomb," he said. Judge Jean-Baptiste Parlos retorted” "Assuming that you are a mosquito, you are a mosquito with a lot of bank accounts," he said.

IRS to Crack Down on Tax Dodge Sold by UBS, Citigroup (Update1)
Dec. 8 (Bloomberg) -- The Internal Revenue Service has made a priority of cracking down on derivatives created by banks such as UBS AG and Citigroup Inc. that are designed to help offshore hedge funds avoid a 30 percent dividend tax.

Liechtenstein signs milestone tax deal with U.S.
Dec 8 (Reuters) - Banking secrecy stronghold Liechtenstein signed a landmark deal with the United States on Monday that paves the way for the exchange of bank data with Washington in certain cases of tax evasion.

Swiss scrap 'foreign-based' firm status to defuse EU row
Dec 10 (Ebusiness) - The Swiss government on Wednesday announced plans to abolish a status accorded to some foreign firms that offers fiscal benefits, in a bid to defuse a row with the European Union.


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