Friday, February 04, 2011

Links Feb 4

Apologies for thin posting the past few days. Bloggers have been busy - much activity on Treasure Islands

French legal firebrand turns her attention to corridors of power
The Guardian
Feb 4 - A profile of the courageous Eva Joly, Europe's most successful fraud prosecutor, a leading figure in the French Green party and an MEP, expected to run for president of France next year. She says: “This is why I am going into politics. It’s another way of fighting fraud in the interests of ordinary people, trying to prevent the oligarchy taking all the power and all the money." We concur with Richard Murphy. Eva Joly received the 2010 Global Financial Integrity Award for Exemplary Leadership.

Tax Havens - Paradise Lost The Africa Report
Jan 28 - Nick Shaxson, author of Treasure Islands, reports on how abolishing tax havens would effectively put hundreds of billions of dollars back into developing nations - but African and OECD states are slow to end the practices that allow them to flourish.

Private companies say "financial transparency: not a great idea" Eurodad blogs for The Task Force on Financial Integrity and Economic Development
Feb 3 - Our friends at Eurodad report on the European Commission (EC) public consultation to “seek stakeholders’ views on financial reporting on a country-by-country basis by Multinational Companies (MNCs)." While several NGOs contributed to the public consultation with a strong plea for the EC to put in place country-by-country reporting, more than half of the contributions to the consultation were from private sector companies, the vast majority of which wholeheartedly oppose the enhancement of financial transparency. Much work still to be done.

Will the I.R.S. Find the Overseas Stash? Take Your Chances New York Times
Feb 4 - The ire of the I.R.S. - U.S. Internal Revenue Service - is all the more when there is layering of opaque financial structures amongst secrecy jurisdictions, displaying an intention to hide and disguise the ownership of the funds and dodge tax.

Smaller firms must beware the lure of Liechtenstein Accountancy Age
Feb 4 - On the UK's Liechtenstein Disclosure Facility --- an experienced tax investigator observes that 'a tax evader "will probably only give you 50% or 60% of his irregularity" during the first conversation. Only a specialist who can probe into the dark corners will get the full disclosure.'

Offshore tax penalties could aid tax evaders Accountancy Age
Feb 2 - In the UK, new offshore tax penalty guidelines provide a "beginner's guide to tax evasion", a leading tax investigator has warned. Higher penalties for hiding money in places that provide the most secrecy - so, "Determined tax evaders might take the view that if HMRC cannot get information from these jurisdictions, the enhanced secrecy and reduced risk of detection more than compensate for the possible 200% (higher) penalty".

'Little transparency' in HMRC deals with big business Accountancy Age
Feb1 - The UK's HM Revenue and Customs has been accused of building "little transparency" into the way it reaches settlements with big businesses over their tax liabilities.

U.S. Corporations Are Paying Even Less in Taxes than Recently Reported
Citizens for Tax Justice
Feb 4 - Our friends at CTJ bring clarity to the reality of U.S. corporate tax dodging.

If the OECD was really serious about tax avoidance it would back country-by-country reporting
Tax Research UK
Feb 1 - Richard Murphy observes how OECD measures are simply giving an illusion of a stance to combat corporate tax dodging, and sets forth real measures required to do the job.

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