Tuesday, January 20, 2009

International news - Jan 20

Multinationals flee Bermuda
Jan 17 (Intertax) - Frightened by the inauguration of a new U.S. administration that has made the fight against tax havens a priority, a half-dozen large companies domiciled in Bermuda and the Cayman Islands have announced their change of address to Switzerland. In French, with translation here.

Do not squander America’s stimulus on tax cuts
Jan 15 (FT, by Stiglitz) - Some suggest that, having exhausted the more transparent bail-out strategy, banks are seeking less transparent help through the tax code. household tax cuts, except for possibly the poorest, should have no place in the stimulus. Good accounting looks at assets and liabilities. Spending on infrastructure, education and technology create assets; they increase future productivity.

Revenue property firm on the brink
Jan 18 (Times) - MAPELEY, the offshore company that owns the Inland Revenue’s property portfolio, has warned shareholders it could go bust unless they vote in favour of a rescue convertible bond issue backed by Fortress, the American investment group.

Tax evasion `VIP unit' will chase celebrities and City fat cats
Jan 19 (Telegraph) - Celebrities and business tycoons will be targeted by a new team set up to identify tax evasion by the super-rich.

Global Task Force Links Financial Integrity and Economic Development
Jan 17 (TJN) - Global Financial Integrity, with which the Tax Justice Network works closely, has issued a press release on their Task Force on Financial Integrity and Economic Development.

83% of big U.S companies, contractors use offshore tax havens
Jan 17 (TJN) – From the Washington Post - the US Government Accountability Office (GAO) has just issued a report showing that 83 of the 100 largest publicly traded corporations and 63 of the 100 largest federal contractors rely on offshore subsidiaries to do business and cut their tax bills. Also see here.

Tax Justice Focus – THE NEXT STEPS EDITION
Jan 14 (TJN) – In case you missed it.

Swiss to hand over data to end UBS tax case-report
Jan 18 (Reuters) - The Swiss government plans to hand over some data on UBS clients and accept a large fine against the bank in exchange for U.S. authorities ending a damaging tax probe, the NZZ am Sonntag reported.

More than 50 nations tackling tax havens
Jan 19 (Tax Research UK) –A few years ago a few of set out on a journey to tackle the problems secrecy jurisdictions and the financial architecture that supports them cause. We travelled in hope, and in the face of considerable opposition . To have the explicit backing of several governments present at the meeting, both financially and explicitly, plus the clear support from the more than fifty nations aligned to the Leading Group of Nations, ably represented by France in DC, is an extraordinary boost.

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