Thursday, December 18, 2008

Links - Dec 18

** Also see our permanent list of past story summaries; and Offshore Watch for more stories. **

Island under threat
Dec 16 (FT) - Bermuda’s status as the industry’s favourite tax haven could be under threat. A powerful group of US insurers led by senior industry figure William Berkley and including WR Berkley Corp, Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway – are lobbying Washington to limit the tax breaks available to insurers that write business in the US but can lay off risks to subsidiaries in tax-friendly locations. US insurers say the practice gives competitive advantage and want legislation to limit the tax benefit.

A Financial Transparency Tax for the UK
Dec 18 (Tax Research) - A currency transaction tax would be good (s
ee James Tobin's landmark 1978 presidential address here), but that’s not the form we have in mind here. There is another alternative: that’s a financial transaction tax. Brazil tried it: it not only raised substantial taxes, but was a key tool in identifying tax evasion – until vested interests killed it last year.

Gibraltar Awaits Verdict On Corporate Tax System, by Robert Lee,, London
Dec 18 (Taxnews) - The European Court of First Instance has told Gibraltar it will deliver its judgement in the Gibraltar state aid case on December 18, 2008. The judgement, which Taxnews thinks the EU will lose, will determine whether a new low tax system can be implemented in Gibraltar. UK government is said to be “100% on-side” with Gibraltar’s plans to expand its corruption services.

3 Convicted in KPMG Tax Shelter Case
Dec 17 (NYT) - A US federal jury on Wednesday found three white-collar defendants guilty in a tax-shelter trial once billed as the largest ever. The verdicts, on multiple counts of tax evasion, are a victory for the government, after a series of setbacks.

Times Tough for Energy Overhaul
Dec 17 (WS Journal) - Obama’s future energy secretary Steven Chu has called for gradually ramping up gasoline taxes over 15 years to coax consumers into buying more-efficient cars and living in neighborhoods closer to work. "Somehow we have to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe." But no U.S. president has made significant headway altering America's energy habits during a period of falling oil prices.

Des personnalités signent la pétition
Dec 16 (Pelerin) – 20,000 people sign a petition against tax havens in a French magazine. In French. Sign up!


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