Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Links - June 23

** Also see our searchable archive of past story summaries; and Offshore Watch **

Settlement Anticipated in UBS Case
June 22 (NYT) - The Justice Department may drop a closely watched legal case aimed at forcing the Swiss bank UBS to divulge the names of 52,000 wealthy American clients suspected of offshore tax evasion, a United States official briefed on the matter said Monday. The move could happen by mid-July.

OECD Upbeat on Tax Haven Progress
June 23 (Reuters) - Over these eight months, we have made more progress than in the last 10 years, says the OECD’s Angel Gurría. His
speech is here.

Cayman proposes greater hedge fund disclosure
June 22 (Reuters) - The Cayman Islands could make available data such as a fund's directors, manager, auditors and administrator, an executive said. Currently it only discloses information such as a fund's licence number, its regulatory classification and the date it was authorised.


French Government Forces Banks To Increase Transparency
June 23 (Tax News) Intensifying the pressure on its banks, the French government is introducing a new measure requiring all French banks to disclose information regarding their links to tax havens. Indeed, eager to make this compulsory measure widespread, the French government is expected to try to convince other countries to follow suit at the next G20 summit meeting.

Switzerland strikes tax deal with US
June 19 (Reuters) Switzerland and the United States have reached agreement on a double taxation treaty, the Swiss finance ministry said on Friday, a key step towards removal from a list of tax havens.

Al rescate de los paraísos fiscales: the G20 smokescreen
New book on tax havens by Juan Hdez. Vigueras, in Spanish

Sarah Lewis of TJN USA is speaking on the radio (click on NAPFE Radio Show). She is speaking in part-2 of that show.

Dutch press on with sale of Fortis tax arm
June 19 (FT) At a time when governments are launching a fierce assault on tax havens, the Fortis arm now owned by the Dutch government is pressing ahead with plans to sell a tax administration and structuring business.

Utah: A Case Study in Why States Should Reject a Flat Tax
June 19 (CTJ) - While the Wall Street Journal has been complaining (without cause) about Maryland's recent tax on millionaires, they neglected to mention what has happened to states who actually took their advice and implemented flat tax reforms. According to the editorial board of the WSJ, raising rates on top earners should cause them to flee the state in search of lower taxes, while instituting low and flat taxes should attract those same taxpayers. It seems recent developments in Utah have shown that this is simply not the case.

OECD Global Forum On Tax Transparency To Meet Sep 1-2
June 18 (WSJ) The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development said Thursday it plans to hold a meeting of its global forum on transparency and exchange of information Sept. 1-2. to discuss efforts to boost the sharing of tax data between countries.

New laws vital for OECD bid
June 18 (Miami Herald) Chile's bid to be the first South American member of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development by the end of this year could be dashed if lawmakers don't change bank secrecy laws ''as soon as possible,'' the OECD's legal chief said.

South Africa Investigates an Alleged Ponzi Scam
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June 17 (WSJ), "South African police and financial regulators have joined forces to investigate a suspected Ponzi scheme that allegedly cost investors in several countries more than $1.2 billion, a Revenue Service spokesman said on Monday."

Multinationals to be forced to reveal tax bills
June 17 (Guardian) The UK is backing calls to force multi¬national companies to reveal precisely how much tax they pay in each jurisdiction they operate in. The move is being hailed as a significant breakthrough towards ending tax secrecy.

Indonesia's corruption court in fight for existence
June 17 (Reuters) It has put central bankers and government officials behind bars and is easily Indonesia's most feared judicial body. But the corruption court, an important weapon in the fight against graft, is now under threat itself.

Briton charged with Congo corruption
June 17 (FT) A police squad set up to tackle London's dire record on prosecuting over bribery overseas launched its first case against a British national yesterday.The City of London police anti-corruption unit said it had charged Patrick Orr, a solicitor, and two Dutch consultants over a $34m (£21m) United Nations deal to supply life-saving drugs to the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Govt may plug gaps in tax evasion laws
June 17 (Economic Times) The party could end soon for domestic and multinational companies that do tax planning only to avoid paying taxes in India.

Obama's offshore tax reforms prompt jitters in Ireland
June 16 (CS Monitor) President Obama launched his offshore tax reform proposals last month with a briefing note stating that Ireland, Bermuda, and the Netherlands accounted for nearly a third of all foreign profits reported by US corporations in 2003.

Swiss seek U.S. tax deal before UBS case continues
June 15 (Reuters) A looming court case against Swiss bank UBS AG (UBS.N) (UBSN.VX) could prove a stumbling block to the United States and Switzerland clinching a tax agreement this week.

Lloyds Bank hit by Obama tax purge
June 13 (Telegraph), "Lloyds Banking Group is ditching American customers based in Britain pending a crackdown on international tax evasion planned by President Barack Obama."

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