Monday, December 08, 2008

Links - Dec 8

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

Harbours of resentment
Nov 30 (FT) – As the bailout continues and an avowed anti-tax evasion reformer is poised to move into the White House, the outlook is bleak for tax havens.

Reform global finances to help the poor, world leaders urged
Nov 27 (ActionAid) - Christian Aid and ActionAid are concerned that the present financial crisis will be used by rich countries as an excuse to renege on aid commitments to the developing world.

Untangling the debt
Dec 4 (Tribune) - Austin Mitchell and Prem Sikka say the Government’s plan to address the economic crisis has some good intentions, but we all know where those can lead.

US, Liechtenstein to exchange data on tax evaders
Dec 6 (AP) — Liechtenstein is to sign an agreement next week that allows U.S. authorities to request information on Americans suspected of hiding money in the tiny principality, officials said Friday.

BAE accused of £100m secret payments to seal South Africa arms deal
Dec 6 (Guardian) - More than £100m was secretly paid by the arms company BAE to sell warplanes to South Africa, according to allegations in a detailed police dossier seen by the Guardian yesterday.

U.S.-Liechtenstein Pact Will Dim Tax Haven’s Allure to Wealthy
Dec. 3 (Bloomberg) -- The United States and Liechtenstein plan to sign an agreement to share information on banking clients that will erode the principality’s allure to rich Americans trying to hide assets behind impenetrable bank-secrecy laws.

West's pledge to tackle global poverty has been crowded out by our own crisis
Dec 1 (TJN) - The promises at Gleneagles came in good times - but they must not be forgotten

Switzerland Feels Iceland's Pain With Banks Teetering (Update1)
Dec. 1 (Bloomberg) -- While the Swiss is in far better shape than Iceland, their status as custodians of the world's wealth is under threat by a global economic upheaval they can't control and miscues by the banks that made them great.

EU executive urges clampdown on VAT scam
BRUSSELS, Dec 1 (Reuters) - The European Commission has proposed amending European Union value-added tax rules to catch importers who pocket the money and disappear, depriving governments of billions of euros in revenue.

Cayman gets the argument wrong
Dec 1 (Tax Research UK) – Thanks to Tim Ridley, the chair of the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority, corruption and tax evasion (by no means the same thing) are neatly tied together and will become the new mantra. Just in case people were getting bored with the mantra of money laundering and tax evasion.

Prosecutors Pass on Chance to Revive Tax Shelter Case
Dec 1 (NYT) - Federal prosecutors are passing on their last chance to reinvigorate a criminal tax-shelter proceeding, once billed as the largest in history, after a string of setbacks in the case.

U.S. Is Said to Expand Tax Inquiry
Dec 1 (NYT) - The Justice Department has expanded its criminal investigation into foreign banks that sell offshore private banking services to include Credit Suisse and HSBC, according to people briefed on the matter.

What’s in a Number?
Sep 25 (London Review of Books) - Donald MacKenzie on the role and importance of Libor

Obama shelves oil company tax after price fall-aide
Dec 2 (Reuters) - U.S. President-elect Barack Obama is not planning to implement a windfall profit tax on oil companies because prices have dropped below $80 a barrel, an aide said on Tuesday.

Korean Companies Hiding Capital in Int`l Tax Havens
Dec 3 (Dong-A Ilbo) - The National Tax Service yesterday said around five Korean companies have hidden corporate capital in European tax shelters such as Liechtenstein, Switzerland and Luxemburg.

I.R.S. Debates Way to Deal With Foreign Tax Shelters
Dec 2 (NYT) - The Internal Revenue Service is debating how to settle tax disputes with scores of wealthy American clients who use offshore private banking services sold by UBS and other foreign banks, according to lawyers who represent those clients.

Kerry says he will investigate offshore accounts
Dec 2 (State House News Service) - U.S. Sen. John Kerry, set to assume the chairmanship of the powerful Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said Monday he would use his post to investigate offshore accounts in the Cayman Islands.

Liechtenstein lifts bank secrecy in U.S. deal
Dec 3 (Reuters) - Offshore haven Liechtenstein has agreed a landmark deal with the U.S. to drop bank secrecy in cases of tax evasion and could make similar concessions in the European Union, a diplomat from the Alpine nation said.

Former FSA boss Foot to lead UK tax haven review
Dec 2 (Citywire) - The government has appointed former Financial Services Authority managing director Michael Foot to run its review of offshore financial centres like Guernsey, Jersey and the Isle of Man.

Vodafone faces $2 billion Indian tax bill
Dec 4 (Times) - A court in India has given the country’s taxman the green light to pursue Vodafone, the world’s largest mobile operator by revenue, for an estimated $2 billion (£1.4 billion) in capital gains tax.

The triumph of greed
Dec 4 (New Statesman) - Tax evasion, tax avoidance, money laundering: institutionalised crime is so much part of the global economy. Then there is moral crime...

China rethinks tax changes amid slowdown
Dec 1 (Financial Post) - Chinese authorities could be forced to roll back new tax rules that had threatened to strike yet another blow against the country's struggling factory owners doing business with companies overseas.

Poor transfer reporting a 'career-ending' issue
Dec 4 (Accountancy Age) - Former US Treasury official warns UK companies that failure to document transfer pricing properly may lead to a 'career-ending event' and hefty fines

Hawala remittance system and money laundering 

There has been growing concern on the Hawala system's potential role in money laundering. Payments are anonymous and require minimal documentation. They can be easily misused by criminal organisations to conceal illegal funds, or by corrupt officials to launder the proceeds of corruption.

Changes in citizens' perceptions of the local taxation system in Tanzania
This paper examines citizens' perceptions of local taxation system in six councils in Tanzania. It investigates why residents do or do not pay local taxes, and their perceptions of misuse of tax revenue.

The Return of Larry Summers
Lawrence Summers, the incoming director of the National Economic Council, may push the Obama administration to work with foreign governments to crack down on tax shelters.

Sese Seko's funds unfrozen
Nov 23 (news24) – Part of the Swiss fortune of the late African dictator Mobutu Sese Seko will be unfrozen by the middle of December and returned to his family members, and not returned to the country from which they were looted.

Haven on Earth II: Revenge of the Havens
A wealth manager looks at why some of the major tax attract tax dodgers and others: Singapore, Switzerland, Monaco, Luxembourg, France.

Britain's bribery laws to be overhauled
Nov 20 (IHT) - Employers who turn a blind eye to corruption face up to 10 years in jail as part of a radical overhaul of Britain's bribery laws proposed by the British Law Commission on Thursday.


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home